Last night’s ‘future of news debate’, which was part of Leeds Digital Festival, offered a fascinating debate into the future of media.
One of the issues debated saw a panel of experts – which included Martin Wainwright from the Guardian, lecturer Sean Dodson from Leeds Met and Quentin Kean from Leeds Citizen blog – at the Cross Keys Pub in Holbeck discuss whether websites and blogs will replace printed newspapers.
The meeting used regional press as an example of some of the problems facing media organisations. Print circulations have been in decline for years – it was pointed out that the Yorkshire Evening Post’s circulation had decreased from over 70,000 seven years ago to around 33,000 a night. They now have more daily online readers than in print.
But panelists felt there was still a big role for print in the future. They pointed to the fact that in some poorer communities, print still had a role to play for the digitally disenfranchised.
And what of the future for long-form journalism? It was felt the Guardian’s model of using print for in-depth feature writing and analysis while the website was used for brekaing news was the way forward for all media.
One member of the audience said:
“Blogging is great if you want to see yourself published unedited, and the Internet is wonderful when you already know what you are interested in. But there is tremendous value in passionate, knowledgeable, talented editors who can assign stories and photographs with budgets to do them better and more authoritatively than any individual can. The reader of a magazine like National Geographic can depend on the information being accurate, coherent, concise, beautiful and created by the by most talented writers and photographers in the world. And readers may learn about something that they didn’t know they were interested in.”
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