At last – a newspaper editor not threatened by the internet…

July 17, 2009

I had an excellent meeting with Dave King, Editor of regional daily newspaper Swindon Advertiser recently, and amongst the topics of conversation, new media and the challenges facing traditional newsrooms came up. He surprised me – positively.

With a team of seven journalists, covering a huge patch, and working in probably one of the most competitive, budget-reduced areas of British journalism, King is pushing ahead through online boundaries. There are a host of regional bloggers contributing to the site, local news is mixing comfortably with solid online advertising, and the site could exist in its own right separate to the daily newspaper from which it sprang. Encouraging indeed.

Also encouraging was to see a traditional daily newspaper editor actually embracing contemporary challenges, and given the environment which Newsquest finds itself at the moment in the UK, King’s approach is nothing short of courageous. Bravo.

The conversation included talk of increasing the mix, adding value to the online offering, and of strengthening the remit of online and offline news – such as distributing certain exclusives online, and others offline, to protect circulation. Smart cookie.

Maybe we’ve all gotten so used to negative news around our media delivery, we’re not aware of the positive work being carried out there in the regions by budget-pressed journos. Maybe they aren’t shouting their successes loudly enough. Maybe a bit of both.

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