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November 23, 2006

The real future of newspapers

An old edition of the Newbury Weekly NewsLast week I wrote a slightly controversial article titled You’re Buggered, Deal With It. It was a post aimed at those who deny the reality of the declining newspaper industry.

Well today I heard from Sarah Radford, who seems to be one of those at the forefront of Newspapers 2.0 (to use a very hackneyed phrase). She’s an online journalist at Newbury Today which was recently named the best weekly newspaper website by the Newspaper Society.

What interested me most about the site was that the newspaper behind it – the Newbury Weekly News – is one of the few independents left in the country. Most local newspapers are owned by one of the conglomerates like Trinity Mirror or Newsquest. So it’s refreshing (albeit not surprising) to see that it’s the independents who are being the most forward-looking and innovative.

And why?

Well, probably because they don’t have to worry about shareholders. If the success of Newbury Today proves anything, it’s that newspapers and stock markets should only meet in the business pages, and shouldn’t be the overriding business model.

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