Herald to be gone in six years – but to live online

As has been well reported in the UK and Scottish media, 40 more jobs are to go at The Herald newspaper in Glasgow (technically, it claims to be a Scottish paper but the vast majority of staff are based in Glasgow and for many it’s still a West Coast paper).

Now morale is as you would expect, hellishly low (and it wasn’t exactly high to start with) but the staff at all the titles still keep pushing to get the best papers they can out and a number of people are wondering if now is the time to take the two-weeks-for-every-year option on offer. But there may be big changes ahead – and sadly more redundancies. But it will mean that The Herald can live on.

I’ve spoken to a number of people inside Newsquest who believe that there is a plan for within six years for one of the three main Scottish Newsquest titles to no longer be available in print but be a web-only publication. 

Could The Herald live on? It would be a brave move, but in an age where we already have unlimited data tariffs for phones and PDAs and mobile broadband is becoming even more ubiquitous.

One sad thing is for sure though – it won’t be produced with as many staff as it is today.

Unless there’s a massive upswing in Scottish companies embracing the internet and advertising styles, the money just simply won’t be there – unless we see a return to the Press Barons of old who weren’t always concerned with news being a profitable business. 

And why should this matter to those in PR? Quite obvious. If The Herald does go fully online – and it’s done properly (something I have my doubts about given the current state of Scottish news on the internet), any company that thinks just throwing out a press release and nothing else will get it the hits is going to be sadly mistaken.