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Tweet says it all really. Will be a sad loss if all their papers go under   

 

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2 minutes ago, ckn said:

Tweet says it all really. Will be a sad loss if all their papers go under   

 

Another case of lumping dept on the company and wondering why it fails.  

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9 minutes ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

Another case of lumping dept on the company and wondering why it fails.  

Would it have failed though had people not stopped buying newspapers in enough numbers?  (Probably a rhetorical question!)  Local newspapers in particular have been going under for quite a few years now.  We still have one here in St Helens, for example, but one disappeared a couple of years ago.

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8 minutes ago, Saintslass said:

Would it have failed though had people not stopped buying newspapers in enough numbers?  (Probably a rhetorical question!)  Local newspapers in particular have been going under for quite a few years now.  We still have one here in St Helens, for example, but one disappeared a couple of years ago.

They failed to see where things were going, and their websites on the whole are awful.  Big cost cuttings meant the papers had even less content and online was focused on hits.  

They were very profitable 10 years ago, piled on a load of debt then now they can't service it.  

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Sad news, alot of good people going to lose there job as a result I would imagine.

Could impact RL as well, I know a few Johnston Press journalists who also file match reports for nationals, can't see all of them being able to carry on on a freelance basis.
 

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Johnston Press own the majority of local newspapers,too, don't they? 200 titles all told.

Anyway, its not closing. Its protection from bankrupcy whilst it is restructured in some way. 

"In an email to staff, Johnston chief executive David King said that, subject to court approval, the company's business and assets would then be sold to a newly-incorporated group of companies controlled by investors who own Johnston's debt. He said that the new business would have "much lower debts" and the new owners "intend to provide new money to carry us forward". It was hoped the transfer would be completed within 24 hours, he said. Meanwhile, he said, the company's operations would "continue uninterrupted" and employees should "turn up for work as normal".

How much of this £8 million will they get? https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/may/11/bbc-to-fund-150-local-news-journalists

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Same type of thing happening over here also to the print media.....   Especially the smaller market papers.

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21 minutes ago, JohnM said:

Johnston Press own the majority of local newspapers,too, don't they? 200 titles all told.

Not too sure if it's a majority, the Trinity Mirror group still own a lot of local titles.

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I remember at least 10 years ago hearing that they were struggling as I knew a couple of lads who worked for them. But it's nothing new and print has been struggling big time since the early 2000's - in fact it's why I got out.

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What are the odds that the new owners will utilise the slash'n'burn reduction technique, as seen in local radio in recent decades?

Budgets slashed to the bone, lots of "shared content", lots of "user-sourced input", lots of redundancies among professional staff. It may be the only way that the group can survive, while having to accept losses in individuality, quality and independence.

That may be the only option to stave off oblivion for a few more years, at least. But it'll also hasten the end at the same time.

Edited by Futtocks

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6 hours ago, Futtocks said:

What are the odds that the new owners will utilise the slash'n'burn reduction technique, as seen in local radio in recent decades?

There's not much left to slash (nor in local radio either ... oh look, a distinctive local station has been Capital Sussex etc etc) ... and I'd put the issue of survivability far more down to the fact that even now I still can't open a page on a Johnston Press website without dozens of ads both getting in the way and then slowing down the 'news' until it's not actually worth proceding.

But this looks like an admin pre-pack more than anything else so everything, I suspect, will continue as before just smaller still.

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As GJ says, huge amounts of shared content already in their on- line presence.

Tney own all our local papers around here and the one thing they are missing is "news". I thought that's why the BBC were being required to finance 150 local newspaper reporters.

Mind you, it is perfectly possible for local independent newspapers to survive. The best example I know of is the Congleton Chronicle, which although shrinking somewhat as car and house advertising move on line, is still THE source of local news far more thsn the BBC for example. I'm sure there are other examples, too.

Edited by JohnM
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9 hours ago, Futtocks said:

What are the odds that the new owners will utilise the slash'n'burn reduction technique, as seen in local radio in recent decades?

Budgets slashed to the bone, lots of "shared content", lots of "user-sourced input", lots of redundancies among professional staff. It may be the only way that the group can survive, while having to accept losses in individuality, quality and independence.

That may be the only option to stave off oblivion for a few more years, at least. But it'll also hasten the end at the same time.

Good call. Our local paper has gone in the last 20 years or so from being one that broke stories, held the council to account, reported local sport, did some actual journalism etc. etc. to being little more than a shock-website with most stories being taken verbatim from facebook or twitter or the MPs' newsletter, with a heavy focus on traffic accidents and restaurant hygiene ratings.

Even the whole website experience is badly broken with way too many pop ups, surveys, ads and irrelevant videos flying at you that it's impossible to use.  I don't know how many people it now employs but it's difficult to see what value is being added any more.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Stevo said:

Good call. Our local paper has gone in the last 20 years or so from being one that broke stories, held the council to account, reported local sport, did some actual journalism etc. etc. to being little more than a shock-website with most stories being taken verbatim from facebook or twitter or the MPs' newsletter, with a heavy focus on traffic accidents and restaurant hygiene ratings.

Even the whole website experience is badly broken with way too many pop ups, surveys, ads and irrelevant videos flying at you that it's impossible to use.  I don't know how many people it now employs but it's difficult to see what value is being added any more.

 

 

Likewise. A case in point being the sale of Hastings Pier which, if it had happened in a place anyone in the media knows about, would be something approaching a national scandal. A £12m lottery-funded investment goes into administration and appears to have been bought for £60,000 by a businessman whose businesses never seem to have any money. We had one week of 'story' in the paper and since then the only 'news' has been a couple of press releases from the new owner. Now, there may be nothing at all dodgy going on at all - but there are no journalists here now to even check what the plans are let alone do any digging.

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12 minutes ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

The BBC are restricted on doing too much local news, on the website anyway.

 

A deliberate plan to wreck the BBC News advantages so eventually it can be sold off as "providing little difference to commercial providers so no need to keep public".  Idiot wrecking like stopping the website local traffic news feed that was substantially better than any commercial alternative.

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14 minutes ago, ckn said:

A deliberate plan to wreck the BBC News advantages so eventually it can be sold off as "providing little difference to commercial providers so no need to keep public".  Idiot wrecking like stopping the website local traffic news feed that was substantially better than any commercial alternative.

There still seems to be a substantial amount of local news on the BBC website.

But do you think the BBC website should be funded by the TV licence, which was created long before the Internet and therefore was never intended to be used for this purpose?

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IIRC, it was this that resulted in the BBC being required to fund 150 local newspaper reporters: this was done because the BBC had bern andstill is using taxpayers money in unfair competition with local newspapers. 

No doubt there will be a reduction in Johnstone titles.  Round here, the Louth Leader, Boston Standard, Skegness Standard, Mablethorpe Daily Gleaner sre in effect one and the same. Maybe opportunity for new independent paper to start up?

Edited by JohnM

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21 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

do you think the BBC website should be funded by the TV licence, which was created long before the Internet and therefore was never intended to be used for this purpose?

Yes. Absolutely. I think the BBC should be allowed to expand its website back to the scale it was at a decade or so ago as well. All of the commercial vested interests that clipped it back then have been shown to be hogwash.

Johnston Press aren't going bust because the BBC local news pages are serviceable. They are going bust because they can't run a decent product.

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3 hours ago, JohnM said:

As GJ says, huge amounts of shared content already in their on- line presence.

Tney own all our local papers around here and the one thing they are missing is "news". I thought that's why the BBC were being required to finance 150 local newspaper reporters.

Mind you, it is perfectly possible for local independent newspapers to survive. The best example I know of is the Congleton Chronicle, which although shrinking somewhat as car and house advertising move on line, is still THE source of local news far more thsn the BBC for example. I'm sure there are other examples, too.

My local area from where I grew up still has an independent local paper, demographics help somewhat with a fairly elderly population. However the key differentiator is that they still provide an awful lot of good content, and only provide a small amount on their basic, but functional website. Once a news org goes down the road of lots of ads and an awful website then it usually loses it' purchaser base pretty quickly.

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16 minutes ago, JohnM said:

Maybe opportunity for new independent paper to start up?

There is a Hastings Independent staffed by volunteers. The problem is that in the time you can say 'tedious Corbynite putsch' it went from being a moderately quirky, left-leaning reflection of a moderately quirky, left-leaning community to one whose content seemed remarkably obsessed with Palestine for a local fortnightly newspaper. So it's gone from being something you saw everyone reading wherever copies were left to one whose readership is the people who write it.

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26 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

There still seems to be a substantial amount of local news on the BBC website.

But do you think the BBC website should be funded by the TV licence, which was created long before the Internet and therefore was never intended to be used for this purpose?

Absolutely.  See that nice Mr GingerJon's response, except for his last sentence.

Society is changing, younger folk are just not interested in the print media for general news.  Media must adapt, much like LPL has, into the digital era or consign itself to a Kodak/Blockbuster future.  That goes for BBC News and the local BBC news as well.

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3 minutes ago, ckn said:

See that nice Mr GingerJon's response, except for his last sentence.

How ****ing dare you.

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4 minutes ago, ckn said:

Absolutely.  See that nice Mr GingerJon's response, except for his last sentence.

Society is changing, younger folk are just not interested in the print media for general news.  Media must adapt, much like LPL has, into the digital era or consign itself to a Kodak/Blockbuster future.  That goes for BBC News and the local BBC news as well.

I subscribe - and pay quite a bit for them TBH - to both the FT and Economist and haven't read a print version of their stuff in ages. Their apps are both well designed, intuitive, update regularly and - and this is the crucial bit - well-written, intelligent and don't beg me to respond or be interactive or care about clickbait.

The same is also true for American sports 'publication' The Athletic, which I'm not even sure has *any* print version but whose app and website are well worth paying for if that's your area of interest.

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