May 10

Paywalls (part 93)

So much coverage and discussion of charging for online news sites is coloured by prejudice, emotion and vested interest that it’s worth marking a piece which surveys the scene without any of those disadvantages. Very fair survey in today’s Independent by their media guru Ian Burrell, which captures the shift in thinking that is going on all over news publishing, and not just in News Corporation. Disclosure: I naturally think this piece is worth reading as I’m quoted at the end.


Apr 10

Billionaire watch

If Alexander Lebedev ever harboured the slightest idea that as the new owners he or his son could slip anything into the Evening Standard (or The Independent) without anyone noticing, he has a thing or two to learn about blogging, search engines and plain, ordinary research. See this small but pungent post from Guido Fawkes which strips away the pretence that Standard vox pops are random exercises conducted on the pavement.


Mar 10

Rusbridger and Guardian presses

Time for a mea culpa. I was rung last week by The Independent for an opinion on the financial troubles of Guardian Media Group. Arguing that the group was not just in trouble because of its digital investments, which may turn to be farsighted spending, I said that non-digital costs were also bearing down on the balance sheet.

And I added: “Spending a staggering amount on presses that have made no difference to the print circulation was a huge mistake.” The Independent got so excited about this soundbite that it reproduced it two days running.

I took hyperbole too far. The investment made by GMG in its new Berliner presses a few years ago didn’t make any difference to The Guardian’s falling circulation – but then neither has anyone else’s investment in new printing equipment stemmed their declines.

Alan Rusbridger

Alan Rusbridger

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