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Two very different views of future for newspapers

The Independent on Sunday has found a soul mate in the editor of its rival, The Observer. In an IoS interview with Roger Alton, Jane Thynne points out that the two papers have both stuck to good old-fashioned journalism and have outperformed their rivals in the Sunday quality market. In reply to her question, “Do you get excited by the digital future?” Alton replies:

No. I get excited by newspapers more. Significantly, for a large amount of our future, this is the platform that matters. Britain makes very good newspapers. The thrill you get online is the viral jokes, the bits of YouTube, the sheer enterprise and wit. Clearly, elements of what Will Lewis [editor of The Daily Telegraph] says are right, but if everybody’s having to do everything all the time, there’s a problem about the paper. If that’s not actually any good then the role of the other stuff will be sabotaged.

In The Observer, an interview with Will Lews, not surprisingly, paints a very different future. He says:

Go to other news organisations and they are in a right tizzy, aren’t they? If you aren’t doing this it’s already too late. We are following the reader, and they are moving pretty rapidly into new places. Everyone who’s not started this process – they’re already dead.

Can they both be right?

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  1. A photographic imagination says

    In the end, to be able to do everything and to do it well means resources. Continuing a high quality editorial product AND also participating in an agile and meaningful way with your audience takes time and money.

  2. Media Blog says

    Those who look at the Web and just see a lot of trival user content, etc. and low-quality content, etc. fail to understand how distruption works.

  3. cybersoc.com says

    Two very different views of future for newspapers: from the Observer and the Independent

  4. news news and more news says

    Our speakers have argued the case either way. People want a quality product, good editorial comment and something they can hold in their hands vs. an outdated mode of reporting which cannot keep up with the everchanging world of news. I saw this post – 2 very different views for the future of newspapers