Roy Greenslade of the Guardian reported this morning that the Press Gazette may go monthly and possibly be taken over. This is worrying news. PG is an essential weekly read for journalists, providing news on the state of our industry, gossip, masses of useful features for freelances and more. What possible value could a monthly edition have for us? The media is a fast-moving industry and monthly just doesn't cut it, especially when Media Guardian is updated daily.
So why support Press Gazette? True, it's not particularly cheap at a cover price of £3 (although an annual subscription works out at about a third off). But it's more focused than Media Guardian, which covers a wider range of media issues than just journalism. That narrow focus means PG covers a lot more issues related to journalism than any other media publication.
The signs that it's in trouble have been there a while. It changed hands around a year ago. Colleagues report problems with very late payment for commissioned features and the fact that a private equity company may take over the publisher indicates major financial problems.
If it goes monthly, I wonder what will happen to my subscription. It's not very long since I paid up for a year's worth of weekly editions (48 in total) starting from July. I don't want a monthly - it's not much use unless there are radical changes to the content so that there are more features (and they are less likely to date). Will subscribers be offered a partial refund? Or will we all be cancelling in droves?
Whatever, I hope PG will have the decency to tell their loyal readers asap what is going on...