Thursday 25 September 2008

It's getting tough out there

Cost-cutting, job losses and the demands of expanding across new media platforms is making it tough for newspaper journalists. There is a very interesting debate here on Roy Greenslade's blog on the digital future and what it is like working in the Telegraph's high-tech newsroom. This is blogging at its best with insiders giving what seems a very authentic, although anonymous, view of working life at the Telegraph. Some give a grim description of the demands being made on staff and claim it is leading to a fall in the quality of journalism and more mistakes getting into the newspaper.

Managements faced with falls in traditional advertising and circulation revenue are demanding more and more from less editorial staff. Kent Messenger Group managing director Chris Bisco has told HoldtheFrontPage that around half of 61 redundancies sought by KMG would come from editorial, but added: "No papers are closing. We'll be working smarter and consolidating operations. All of our titles will be continuing and at the same time we're expanding our multimedia output."

A comment about a regional newspaper on Press Gazette's story by Patrick Smith that the Teesside Gazette is to increase citizen journalist team to 1,000 claims cost-cutting is leading to more errors. The correspondent said: "I despair of the future of our profession. Profit rules above all else now and subs appear to be out of the equation. Yesterday, a distinguished city daily newspaper include the phrase 'peddle cycle' in its lead story and the other week, I saw the phrase ‘heart and sole of the community' printed. Don't these cost-cutting owners realise that when a paper becomes a laughing stock because of its slipshod content, people stop buying it."

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