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Friday, January 28, 2005

UK: new focus for regional newspapers

An article in the UK's January 14 press gazette reports on the change in focus of a regional paper, the Norwich Evening News. Research done by a London marketing agency, The Future Foundation, showed that the internet and 24 hour news stations have made it much less important for regional papers to carry breaking news. The Norwich Evening News decided to heed the study's results. It moved its edition times forward by 40 minutes, meaning that late-breaking stories could not be included, but assuring that the paper would be on the streets when people were out of work. Now, if a story breaks after the paper goes to press, it is simply posted on the paper's website. The research also showed that readers of regional papers, normally pressed for time, now prefer smaller news summaries. The Norwich Evening News adapted accordingly, adding a summarizing paragraph at the beginning of lead stories.The public reaction has been positive and circulation has risen 4%. The paper's editor, David Bourn, commenting on the way the industry is changing, said, "Local exclusives will always be our meat and drink but these days national and world events are reported as they happen on TV and the internet. This has changed the role of a newspaper from being the medium to break news stories to being the medium providing detail and analysis."

Source: press gazette (print edition)

Posted by john burke on January 28, 2005 at 09:52 AM in d. Design and infographics , h. Young readers / New readers, k. Circulation and newspaper launches, m. Improving editorial quality, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers | Permalink

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