Adopting Web First Strategy Doesn’t Mean We Should Neglect Print

THE Middleton Press may be smaller is size than its national cousins, but in many ways it is bigger in digital heart. 

This series of blogs from its editor and team is well worth a read for anyone wondering how to make the leap towards a web first strategy. 

It is a great example of how a modest sized publisher wrestled with the problems confronting many similar news groups looking to adapt.

But as good as it is to see organisations switch onto web first, I fear relegating print offerings to a by-product regurgitating old news from online will do nothing to sustain circulation, quite the opposite.

Surely those pursuing web first can compliment that strategy by moving the story on in print with the kind of deep analysis, imagery and comment in a way which historically made newspapers valuable in the first place?

Break the news, update it on the web – yes. 

But there is still a place for a news magazine style product on the newstands too, as long as their remains a readership wanting to buy it.

It would take a degree of careful planning, imagination and perhaps printing every other day rather than daily.

Yet if content is still king, strong new writing and not scraps is what will give newspapers a fighting chance in a digital age.

As my previous post alludes, consumers will dictate the pace of change.

Until then, it would be wrong not to offer the best products we can.

Categories: Media philosophy & trends

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1 reply

  1. Well argued and right on the button Shaun. There’s too much fixation with one or the other. The two facets of news projection have to complement each other if traditional news gathering organisations are to survive. These days the web will always have the story first, but if it can point the reader towards great writing, brilliant analysis and well-argued, opinion-forming comment there will always be a place for quality newspapers. The biggest concern is that at a time when quality has never been more important, newspaper companies are downgrading quality control to cut costs. That could be very expensive in the long run.

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