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Whatever happened to local newspapers?
I love when you can see where a headline has been changed to be less inflammatory. If you look at the URL for this examination of the state of UK local newspapers, you’ll see it was originally titled ‘The End of Local Newspapers’. And it might have been for the best – as we discuss in our most recent episode (see below) there are very few topics in media criticism that rile people up quite like speculating about the death of local newspapers.
For Tortoise, David Barnett takes a long view on the changing face of local papers. He points out that the local press has been considered to be in decline for at least six decades, as audiences and advertising money went elsewhere. While that’s obviously been accelerated in the past few decades, it’s a trend that’s been around as long as most of us have been alive.
What I found particularly interesting was the quotes he’s gleaned from Gillian Parkinson, who until last year was editorial director of Johnston Press in the North West. She notes that the slow spiral of decline has always been relevant, but that it eventually becomes self-sustaining. If you don’t have any resources to actually do local journalism, why would anyone pay for it? A really good (if depressing) long read.
What should publishers do about AI being trained on its articles?
I absolutely 100% positively promise that we’re not doing Med.A.I Voices – but this story sits right in the sweet spot for us. We’ve spoken on previous episodes about the likelihood of AI platforms and publishers coming into conflict in the near future, and this article for Bloomberg takes a look at one of those coming battles. Frankly, it makes my head hurt a little.
How not to respond to criticism, featuring the NYT
This is a deeply grim one. The one thing a newspaper shouldn’t do when it gets challenged is get defensive and spiky – and it certainly shouldn’t throw its own journalists under the bus in doing so. This is a very calm and considered response to the NYT’s response from Issac J. Bailey, but some of the lessons he pulls out are applicable to all papers of record facing legitimate criticism.
How does TikTok stack up to other platforms for publishers?
As part of the Digital Services Act coming into enforcement, TikTok too has announced its user numbers. For The Drum I popped those figures into context, comparing them to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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