Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Desire for quality journalism as crisis pushes Paris Hilton down the news agenda

Despite the increasing number of staff journalists being made redundant, there are still reasons to be cheerful, according to Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger. He said tonight: "There are many reasons to be depressed by thousands of lay-offs, around 10,000 estimated in the US, but there are also thousands of people doing great journalism in new ways."
Schlesinger, speaking at the launch of a new book, 'International News Reporting: Frontiers and Deadlines' by John Owen and Heather Purdey, said there was "an insatiable appetite for news about the world, a desire and a market for news." He told the audience at the Cass Business School, London, that quality would win out. " Journalism was always a hard profession to get into. If you are really good you can find a niche." Reuters journalist Peter Apps, a fellow panelist looking at the future of international news reporting, agreed there was "still a huge demand for hard information. The internet is fuelled by it," but asked: "the demand is there but are people going to pay for it?" Schlesinger said that Reuters had 2,564 staff around the world, more than it had ever had in its history. And news about the credit crisis had meant demand for entertainment stories about celebrities, like Paris Hilton and Madonna, as well as sport had dropped off.

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