Sir Ray Tindle: 'People want to read about their immediate neighbours'

Regional newspaper publishers need to concentrate on their local patch if they are to prosper according to Sir Ray Tindle.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast News after the launch of the hyperlocal print title Peckham Peculiar, Tindle said the reader is not really bothered about events in areas they are not familiar with.

He said: “It is about their town. They are getting more and more local. There is no doubt whatever that that is what the reader wants. People want to read about their immediate neighbours and immediate area. They don’t really want to read about an area that they don’t know.”

The Peckham Peculiar launched its print edition yesterday and is being distributed in shops around the locality.

According to the newspaper’s co-editor Mark McGinlay other newspapers are not in a position to provide the level of detail the people of Peckham want as their geographic spread is too wide.

He said: “I am all for reading about stories online but I do think there is something special and tangible about holding a newspaper in your hands.

“There is so much going on with the proposed development around Peckham Rye station. That is not in the immediate spotlight but it is really important to Peckham."

Advertiser Lou Smith said: “I think people’s attention span for things on the internet is so short now that they are less likely to pick up on things.”

Douglas McCabe of Enders Analysis said traditional publishers may find it difficult to focus on such small geographic areas and still provide a return.

He said: “What you are finding, popping up all over the country are small businesses that are very, very focussed on the local community. They are drawing a certain amount of audience. But for publishers, commercial publishers trying to run a local service, in reality, it is a much harder challenge. They have to look at larger geographic spaces.”  

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