Pat Kane is one of those guys who is never dull. In true Scottish style he often gets the mick ripped out of him for having the temerity to be passionate about more than one field (it’s a deviation on ‘I kent his faither‘).
Anyway, you can agree with him/disagree with him, but he’s normally worth reading and he’s dug up this little gem from 1998 where he speaks about the papers and media of the future, notably what’s going to be the format and content of The Herald in 2028 (no sarky comments please…).
It’s well worth a read and worth pointing out that some people were thinking about this stuff before the recent bandwagon of ‘Oh noes! the press and print are doomed! DOOMED!’
I’m not going to say anything about the Herald announcement from a few weeks ago – I’ve blogged plenty about it in the past and my thoughts can be seen in the archives – but it could have been so much worse.
Here’s a paper in the US which sacked everyone and didn’t get them to reapply for jobs. Instead it outsourced to India and pays $7.50 per 1000 words.
(That reminds me, is the UK rate per 1000 words still £100? I was always told that was the NUJ rate.)
They won’t be the first to do this – and the PR industry should be looking at this as well because it will hit them too.
There are ways for journalists and PRs to retain their jobs in the coming financial apocalypse to hit media. Do I know them? Some. Am I telling? Not everything. After all, if a person – even sharing online – gives away all their tricks, what’s their USP and reason for people to hire them?
(Thanks to NewsTechZilla for highlighting the story in the first place)
Just saw this on the AllMediaScotland newly-launched Tweet Service – apparently Charles McGhee has departed from The Herald, leaving the paper without an editor the week before the Glasgow East byelection.
More news as I hear it…no doubt some people will be sad at this, while some will be rejoicing. What isn’t known as of yet is why he left.
UPDATE: Hold the Front Page has tweeted and put up more info on this page, complete with statement.
UPDATE 2: The Guardian has weighed in, again with the suggestion that McGhee left because of the ongoing cuts, which may or may not be the case, but it seems strange to me that he leaves right after the last round of redundancies (which I hear saw some staff rejected, despite their pleas to leave) unless he was told that there was going to be another round of cuts right away.
I hear from ridiculously reliable sources that a very senior member of management has said The Herald/Sunday Herald/Evening Times are not only looking at a seven-day shared operation – that much is already known – but that it extends as far as reporters and photographers, who will find themselves writing across all of the titles.
It’s a risky experiment and one that’s failed before in places, so good luck to them. I think it’s a terrible idea as reporters/photographers should reflect their paper – and what necessarily makes good copy/picture for one paper isn’t good for another.
Let’s role play: you’re a senior person at a well-regarded newspaper. Let’s call it The Herald. You have a reporter that’s won more awards than the rest of the paper put together. Let’s call him Michael Tierney.
The newspaper beancounters insist on more cuts – and the award-winner takes it.
This is a shame for the Herald (formerly known as the Glasgow Herald). I know there’s more talented staff there and they’ll rally round and keep on getting the best paper and website out that they can with their resources, but what is it with the Scottish media scene at the moment and its hell-bent determination to get the best people out of jobs?
As for Michael? I hear he’s wrapping up a book and I’m sure newspapers who like award-winning feature writers (at a Scottish and UK level) will be in touch.
After all, how often do journalists who have had the likes of Washington Post Watergate-era editor Ben Bradlee backing them come up?
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.