Thursday, 24 February 2011


There's a bit of a -how shall I put it?- whinge in The Guardian.

They make some valid observations about churnalism, but seem to point the figure at our industry, whose growth they blame rather than celebrate Instead, they should try looking a little closer to home.

Yes, it's sometimes the case that press releases are pretty much copied and pasted by papers (a point we've made to the NLA...).

Yes, it's sometimes the case that papers don't interrogate stories as they should.

But there's a very simple reason for this -newspapers no longer employ an adequate number of journalists.

It's been happening for years, and there's no sign of it stopping. As newspaper circulations fall, and as sources of information proliferate, newspaper revenues decrease, and they employ fewer people. But those people are now expected not just to fill hardcopies of the paper, but online content too. So they're pretty busy....

It's hardly rocket science to work out what the problem is.

What is rather more difficult is working out the answer -quite how do we break this vicious circle. Because we lose out too. Answers (in a press release if you like) please.


  1. I've just blogged saying more or less the same thing, including the vicious circle. Only thing I missed was the NLA :-)

  2. Agree with what you say. The pressure to keep all online material 'free' means newspaper websites will continue to be desperate for fun-sounding PR-generated content, with few resources for checking. Great for PR agencies at the 'whacky stunt' end of the market, not so great for proper news coverage. My own blog thoughts as a former BBC journalist and media trainer at