The future is free. The future is citizen journalism. The future is print. The future is video. The future is high-value content for which you will be charged a subscription.
But let’s bear in mind that next week’s futures could be different.
The future is premium content sold at a premium price
The future is hyper-local websites run by readers.
The Glasgow Evening Times network of community websites, launched this week, will eventually be run by trained members of the public. There will eventually be 80 sites – 12 have been launched so far – covering ultra-local news and listings.
The future is hyper-local but with reverse publishing into print
On Teesside, Trinity Mirror's Evening Gazette launched 16 free titles last year, the content of which was reverse published from 20 websites, each based on a postcode.
The future is TV
Men’s Health, the monthly men’s lifestyle magazine, is to launch Men’s Health TV with 90 workout videos. It’s online ABCE was 300,000 unique visitors in January. The printed version’s average circulation for the second half of 2007 was 240,315.
The future is free, and not free
The title has 73,304 daily unique users on its web site.
The future is print
The Swindon Advertiser was the best-performing evening newspaper in the latest ABC figures. It owes its success, according to editor Dave King, to two things. One is digestible news: “our stories aren’t overwritten, you have side bars, there are lots of nibs, the pages are busy, every page counts.”
The other is a reader acquisition programme that has boosted home deliveries. These factors have won the paper a .4 per cent sales rise to 21,951 year on year.
The future is distribution via Facebook
Click through to York University student newspaper York Vision’s online edition and you go straight through to Facebook. The entire web presence of the paper is embedded into the social-networking site. Ian Withers, one of the students involved, said: “We decided to take our content to where students generally loiter online, rather than set up a stand-alone website... Facebook is by far the best way to distribute our content.”
The future is everything
Trinity Mirror has launched 34 websites, 24 magazines, 23 books and five events/exhibitions in 2007.
The future is B2B
Where did I get my snapshot? Everything in this post I read about in the print edition of Press Gazette. Business to business magazines still deliver.
The future is too bloody much
One problem with all this is that there is now just too much for us to read, watch and listen to.
Keeping up with the news – for journalists, or anyone else who needs to know things for their work - is tough.
What we need is help. We need an editor. Someone who knows what we really need to know and selects it for us, providing handy links to the essential news items of the week.