Friday, February 24, 2006

Print isn't dead, its just sleeping in the sunday corner

ON Brand Republ;ic Today I found an article entitled An Element of Doubt over Digital says The Time Editor. It appeared in PR Week.

In it Robert Thomson puts the case for Print Media and it definitely made me smile.

He argues that Digital doesn't have the same in depth analysuis as print but accepts that editorial teams for print and digital are being merged. He also accepts that when a big breaking story happens it is digital which gets it first and obviously most of the follow up (London in July last year proved that, and I think that the Death of the Princess of Wales was reported first online, beating CNN by a second or two).

So where is prints advantage? From my own experience I kept hold of a copy of the Standard this week (found on the train seat rather than bought) because there were some interesting reviews on new eating clubs in London, but I cant think of anything that the actual news told me which I didn't already know (apart from Barcelona apparently beating a London side at football).

Finally Thomson points out that the Sunday's are the safe house for pruint, but seems to have missed the point that having been driven away from the daily market, that it can only be a matter of time until home use reaches critical mass to begin an assualt on that as well.

All in all I've been surprised by the fleet Street's attitude over the years. Back in 99 I was arguing that print and digital should be used hand in hand, to drive traffic between the two of them, but its gone beyond that now. Readership of daily newspapers is reaching critical levels and advertising revenue is down dramatically, both from large consumer ads and (perhaps most importantly) from classifieds. Craig's List may come to town and kill off 'The Sun' yet. Now I am actually a fan of The Times and Sunday Times so it will be a shame if when they finally do 'get it' they find that it is already too late.

So the book opens on when we will see the first three pound daily newspaper. Answers in a comment.

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