If it ain’t digital content, what’s the point?

November 8, 2009

At least, that appears to be the case according to this story recently concerning the drastic drop in profits for magazines.

As the downward slide continues for offline publishers, it is clear from the statistics presented in the Paid Content report that if you’re in editorial in the magazine sector, unless your publishers have online versions of the print edition, it’s lean times indeed ahead for you as we slide into the pre-Festive season. And to think journalism has been in this position for nearly two years now.


No tangible support or respite for the journalists, section editors, editors and senior editorial employees who’ve been cut, cut and then cut again from the heart of poorly-managed newsrooms. Dammit, stop the rant before the soapbox bends and breaks.

Couldn’t it of been seen coming?

I know from the colleagues I have worked with and spoken to in the last 12 months, we all knew magazine and newspaper editorial staff needed to diversify, re-train, get upskilled, and even consider another sector to work in.

The fact that we’re still seeing no assistance for the flailing British magazine sector is appalling.

And the message from the number-crunchers is still the bloody same – sorry, got to lose editorial, too costly to keep all the journos. Oh, the sales department? No, they’re all still there. Twiddling their fingers and talking about football results. Nice.

Once again, I wonder why it is such a bed idea to not simply consider letting senior editorial manage the business of managing newsrooms as business entities, including forward planning of news diversification, digitisation and online expansion.

Let’s face it – they couldn’t do a worse job than the inept neolithic management teams have done on their behalf to date. Ahem.


4 Responses to “If it ain’t digital content, what’s the point?”

  1. bwhizzle said

    I’m on a journalism course at the moment and we are split into three areas:


    We keep getting some brilliant people from the world of journalism in to talk to us and they basically just say newspaper and magazine are screwed! Luckily I’m on the Broadcast course and don’t feel as if this medium is crashing and burning quite like my partners in print.
    Magazine and Newpaper need to diversify but the only trouble is that people are used to so much for free these days. I think it will be an uphill struggle…with a very large bag…in the rain.

    • bristoleditor said

      Maybe you’re right – uphill struggle which shows no signs of improvement.

      Thank goodness for other mediums: if we were all relying on print for our journalistic careers to flourish, it’d be game over.

  2. Paper versions will never completely be out though.
    There is still something primal and magical about having your hands on a piece of writing.

    • bristoleditor said

      Thanks Coriolis

      I agree – there is something to hold and feel a printed publication, which is where antique editions of papers and magazines may well continue to enjoy popularity. But it’s all about market demand, really.

      Which is where products like e-readers are going to at least keep the written word accessible, alive, and – and here’s the critical point – being paid for.

      The rise and rise of free content gives concern to more than just Rupert Murdoch. Only time will tell.

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