29 July 2008

Press Gazette in trouble?

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...

3 comments:

UrbanVox said...

oh no!!!!
But did you know that that is partly our(bloggers) fault???
We're running newspaper out of business...

:(

wordsmith_for_hire said...

I disagree. Blogging is not journalism and while there's a little overlap, particularly in terms of expertise and content, one will never replace the other.

PG, like most good publications, publishes its stories online too and encourages reader comments. Perhaps developing the web side may be the way to go.

UrbanVox said...

Yup... there is that...

But don't forget that there are plenty of journalistic blogs around... :)

I am a web developer (or used to be... lately I am not sure what I am anymore... sooo many things...) and had a couple of newspapers as clients and their main complaint was actually about blogs... People nowadays are more interested on personal accounts of facts than the journalistic cover of them...

but hey... never mind... :) Hope PG gets back on it's feet!