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April 21 2010

08:43

Roy Greenslade: Brighton’s Argus and saving local newspapers

Media commentator Roy Greenslade gives a no-holds-barred review of the local news scene in his home city Brighton, in particular the problems faced by the Newsquest-owned local newspaper, the Argus.

As we all know, regional evenings have been in decline across the country, but the Argus has lost more buyers faster than many similar titles. Is this Newsquest’s fault? Well, a publisher cannot be entirely free of blame.

However, the central difficulty facing any editor of the Argus (and, arguably, all regionals and locals) has been demographic, trying to identify, and then appeal to, a target audience. In plain terms, should it be The Times or The Sun or the Daily Mail?

The paper, again like others, has tried to be all things to all people, without managing to satisfy any sector. Its front pages have tended to be red-toppish, with an accent on crime. Indeed, much of the news follows a tabloid-style agenda.

Comments from former Argus journalists, contributors and some readers make for an interesting anatomy of the difficulties faced by regional and local newspapers across the UK – a worthwhile read for all regional hacks.

Full post at this link…

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February 03 2010

16:57

Future of News meet-up spreads to West Midlands, Brighton and (maybe) Scotland

Having set-up a discussion group online and run two successful offline meet-ups, Adam Westbrook’s Future of News initiative has inspired new events in the West Midlands, Brighton and Scotland. The idea: to discuss new tools, new directions and share ideas for the future of UK journalism.

West Midlands

The first ever meeting of the West Midlands branch of the Future of News group will be held at Birmingham City University on Monday 8 February at 6.45pm. To register you’ll need to sign up here. All is explained in a post on the site Journal Local and there’s a short introductory video from organiser Philip John:

Brighton

On the same date Journalism.co.uk’s own Judith Townend has set-up the first meeting of the Brighton group – with scheduled talks from the Brighton Argus’ web editor Jo Wadsworth and the Guardian’s Simon Willison. It’s at The Skiff from 7.15pm – and you can sign up here.

Scotland

Both of which have got digital editor Iain Hepburn wondering what demand there is for a similar meet-up in Scotland. If enough people register an interest, he says he’s happy to get the ball rolling. If you are, let Iain know on this blog post.

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