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Pricing of the i newspaper: Editor on why 20p, and not free

November 12th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

The editor of the i newspaper, Stefano Hatfield, was asked at the Society of Editors conference today why the newspaper was priced at 20p and not given away free.

The i first launched in October 2010. Now, more than two years on, Hatfield said the pricing point “works both to establish a quality proposition and it’s also helpful in supermarkets establishing a value proposition”.

If you’d have gone free, in consumers mind [it would have] immediately been up against Metro and we didn’t want to be up against Metro, we wanted to be up against the Guardian, Times, Telegraph.

He added that when the newspaper is sold in supermarkets, therefore, the 20p pricing “is an advantage”.

He added that the “key thing is it’s an active choice to purchase the paper … rather than having it just given to you.”

The latest results from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, which published national newspaper circulation reports for October on Friday (9 November), showed a 44 per cent increase year-on-year in average daily circulation for the i, which reached 304,691 in October this year.

This also represented a 7.7 per cent increase month-on-month.

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#soe11: Editors of the Mirror and Times on phone-hacking coverage

November 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism

Editors of the Mirror and the Times were today questioned at the Society of Editors conference about their coverage of the phone-hacking scandal.

Editor of the Times James Harding said earlier on in the scandal that the newspaper’s decisions were informed by “a combination of the company denying it, police saying there was nothing to see and an issue of rivalry”.

I look back and think why didn’t we jump on it? There’s often the sense that there’s an agenda there so I think when that story broke in the Guardian there was a tendency to see that and when news broke the police came out and said there’s nothing to see here. That did inform the thinking.

It was only as a few more pieces fell into place … I remember thinking there is something that is seriously wrong here.

He said following more allegations of wrongdoing the “engines fired up a bit” at the Times and there was “a real attempt to ensure we were reporting on it as any other story.”

Editor of the Mirror Richard Wallace added that when it first started “it was very much a meeja story”.

We didn’t think our readers were interested in it and frankly they weren’t.

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#soe10: Live coverage of the Society of Editors conference

November 15th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events

The annual conference of the Society of Editors is in full swing – featuring star turns already from Alexander Lebedev and the society’s president Donald Martin.

More coverage from Journalism.co.uk is available at this link.

To follow tweets from delegates and speakers use the liveblog below. You can see full details of the programme at this link.

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SoE08: What next for local media?

November 10th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Newspapers

Two questions being repeatedly raised at today’s Society of Editors (SoE) conference:

  • stop talking about the nationals, how can regional media get in on the digital act?
  • what to do about the BBC – or the ‘boa constrictor’ as Mail Online’s editorial director Martin Clarke called the corporation.

Guardian Media Group chief executive Carolyn McCall told delegates that there is a model for the local press, focusing on hyperlocal.

“There will be models that emerge: investing in SEO, local press have to do that. There’s an opportunity for local press to go very local and build revenue around this. There are models, but it will have to be off a very different cost base,” said McCall.

She went on to describe Channel M – the television offshoot of the Manchester Evening News – as ‘a good model’ for local media that could be replicated in the future.

The business risks associated with online and sustainable digital business models, she added, need to be shared regionally and locally.

Regional media will have to take ‘a real hit’ on their bottom line when it comes to online to if they are to maintain standards of quality journalism, she added.

Malcolm Pheby, editor of the Nottingham Evening Post, took up the regional press’ baton in explaining how the NEP had successfully integrated its newsroom with staff now trained to treat all news stories as rolling news to be broken on the web.

But the pervading theme of the day has been the opposition from regional newspapers to the BBC’s proposed local video plans.

Pete Clifton, head of multimedia for the Beeb, did his best to defend criticisms of the plans, saying that the proposals are subject to assessments by the BBC Trust and suggesting that the BBC could forge stronger relationships with other news providers.

Still it was comments from McCall and Clarke, whose affiliate Northcliffe added its voice to the debate today, that received impromptu applause.

According to both, the BBC’s plans present unfair competition to the local press

Cue videojournalism evangelist and consultant Michael Rosenblum, who promised to teach the audience how to beat the BBC at its own game. Key to this he said is embracing technology, in particular video, wholeheartedly and not incrementally.

In response to a question from a Rotherham newspaper publisher, which currently has no video on its website, Rosenblum said there was a demand for the content and the potential for partnerships with regional broadcasters like ITV local.

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