The Guardian’s media section today is dominated by turmoil at the Telegraph. It is the section lead which turns to page 2 where there is more about the “dizzying decline of a great paper”. Then it takes up the whole of Kim Fletcher’s On the press column on page 7.
But it is not entirely “dog eats dog” as the rival paper seeks to dig between rumour and facts. There is fear too. You have to read beyond the turn to get to this paragraph in Owen Gibson and Stephen Brook’s section lead:
Rival newspaper executives watching the Telegraph’s grimly gripping soap opera will not be smiling, however, because they too are wondering how to deal with similar changes hurtling towards them at breakneck speed. It is no exaggeration to say that decisions taken today at every newspaper about how far and how fast to integrate could decide the very survival of venerable national brands. There is unrest everywhere, including at this paper where staff recently voted to ballot for strike action.
That is the real issue. At the Telegraph it seems to have got personal as well as troubles surrounding, sackings, redundancies and the move to the new multi-media newsroom, mount. A plan to cope with the changes forced on newspapers by new media seems to have got tied up with personal clashes and a power struggle.
Fletcher ends his column about the management in fighting with this anonymous quote from a Telegraph foot soldier:
I take reassurance from the discovery that they hate each other even more than they hate us.