Regional magazine Leeds Guide flags up a “major investigation” into the death of print newspapers.
Well – it’s 1,250 words, which is hardly the Sunday Times Insight exposé of Israel’s secret nuclear programme we saw in 1986 (around 3,250 – and, you know, I think it probably took longer to research).
Also, while it’s nice to see author Simon O’Hare looked up his figures (profit, loss, chief executive payoff etc), his interview sources are a BBC Newsnight editor quoted on the NUJ web site, and a former Leeds Guide deputy editor – hardly pushing the boat out in terms of “investigative” sources.
This is the problem with journalism. It’s so expensive to do the investigative kind that no one can afford to do it any more. And many younger members of the media won’t even remember what real investigative journalism is like – which is why they might mistake this piece for it.
In conclusion, O’Hare argues:
People will continue to use the internet for social networking, but they will still want to obtain authoritative news.
Really? I wonder. Actually, I think people don’t care half as much about news as people in old media think they do. What they care about is entertainment and connectivity (a subject for a later post).
In fairness, O’Hare is paraphrasing Rupert Murdoch, who he then goes on to quote (from a published speech in 2008, not a phone interview, of course):
Unlike the doom and gloomers, I believe that newspapers will reach new heights. Readers want what they’ve always wanted: a source they can trust. That has always been the role of great newspapers in the past. And that role will make newspapers great in the future.
Guess what? On the evidence, I don’t believe him…