Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Why Press Gazette should not die

I went to the wake for Press Gazette last night in Fleet Street. It was a good evening meeting old friends and colleagues but I was left thinking why does the title have to die?
I understand that a weekly print magazine is no longer viable because the job ads have gone to MediaGuardian and HoldtheFrontPage but what's to stop it existing on the web?
Journalists of all people can keep a lively, independent website called Press Gazette going. UK Press Gazette started as an independent title launched by ex-Fleet Street editor Colin Valdar and survived for more than 40 years through various owners with an ethos that journalism was a good thing and needed to be defended against its many enemies.
We can't let some small time publisher like Wilmington kill it off.
We are in a different era from print magazines. All we need is access to the web, to tap into the independent spirit of Press Gazette and connect with journalists across the country.
We won't make any money but we won't lose a lot either. What we will have is an independent voice. That's priceless in a way a magazine company and its bean counters will never understand.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ooh-err. Could this be the start of something interesting?

At the very least, you pose an interesting question, Mr Slattery.

Footnote: I just looked up the whois (URL ownership) record for pressgazette.net

The URL is owned by a company that calls itself Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

Hilarious. Sort of. I think.

RGreenslade said...

Jon, I suggest PG links up with the British Journalism Review. It has good, solid long-form hackademic stuff on its website, but it would benefit from daily news output. The PG-BJR link would be excellent for both. Contact Bill Hagerty, its editor, urgently. I think you can reach an accommodation swiftly.

Jon Slattery said...

Thanks Roy, Any suggestions on how to save Press Gazette greatly appreciated.

Martin Cloake said...

Jon, we think alike. I said on my blog yesterday "Perhaps this is the challenge before us now – to develop, probably online, that living resource about the way we do our job, and the ways we could do it. Something that provides informed opinion, research and analysis, which enables us to step back from the day-to-day pressure of just surviving as journalists and to think about what we do, why we do it and how we could do it better."
I'd like to see more analysis and discussion, and coverage of journalism beyond news and newspapers too. Magazines, for example, have tended to play the television to newspapers' cinema. An online presence would also allow links to and work with blogs such as subbedout.wordpress.com, sarahhartley.wordpress.com and
fallingoffablog.typepad.com/ as well as linking in to the Paul Bradshaws and Adrian Moncks.
There's a need for this, so if enough of us have the will, we'll find a way. Get in touch if you need to.

Jon Slattery said...

Dear Anonymous thanks for your post.

I have consulted an expert who tells me: "I suspect that this is to do with the Green Bay Press Gazette newspaper in America. If Gannett owns it, it would make sense that they would buy up various domain names containing 'pressgazette'.
"There are also local papers in Florida and California with that name, so there are perfectly legitimate reasons for gannett to own this domain name."

Hope this solves the mystery.

Max said...

Sad day? yes indeed. clearly not enough passion and not enough liquid lunches anymore. Keep alight the flame, Jon.

Max

Jon Slattery said...

Max,
Press Gazette's been saved. Today.
The flame burns on.