Publishers should invest in quality

During the past 12 months I have been paying close attention to
newspaper circulation figures; so, despite what Andrew Neil (pictured
above) claims (Press Gazette, 6 May), there are plenty of local rags
whose circulations are stable or going up.

So their editors and publishers must be doing something right.

If
Mr Neil actually did some research into buying habits and falling
circulations he would know that the two main reasons are failure by all
the major publishers to invest in quality journalism (especially hard
news) and their near-complete inability to market their titles
effectively.

A quick look at us “lepers” in the B2B market would
show Mr Neil and all the other big names why our titles continue to
defy the trend or, at worst, have the smallest drops in audited
circulations and ad volumes.

How many times do leading B2B titles
such as Computer Weekly and Computing out-scoop Fleet Street and the
main TV channels each month?

If Mr Neil really wants to help his
fellow editors and publishers, he would do well to ask the editors of
the leading trade titles to address their colleagues in newspapers, TV
and radio on why they do so well.

A quick trip to any local
boozer would also confirm that the average punter is fed up with buying
newspapers which don’t have any real news in them.

Chris Youett by email

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