While we wait to see what happens next at the Telegraph, Shane Richmond is a valuable conduit through whom we can learn something about the thinking behind the glass foyer in Victoria.
Richmond, the online news editor, wrote a long post yesterday on his technology blog about the paper and its future. It is written in a way which suggests his audience is as much his colleagues on the paper as the regular readers of his blog. He writes:
It’s tempting to think that once the newspaper is fully integrated, all we have to do is watch the online ad revenues climb and we’ll be fine. But we know that isn’t the case. The future could get a lot scarier.
He goes on to sketch a possible future where the competition to newspapers becomes much broader. At home it includes the internet and games consoles. On the move there is competition from mobile phones, text messages, emails and handheld fames consoles.
He runs through the future with fairly standard predictions and concludes:
Anyone who tells you that their newspaper has met the challenges of the internet age is seriously mistaken.
These challenges aren’t insurmountable, but meeting them will require ingenuity and creative thinking. As an industry, we’re already learning to think differently. We’ve moved a long way over the last decade but in the next decade we need to move further and faster.
He promises another post today with some suggestions about where the answers may lie.