Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, adds some “industry context” to other paper’s reports of the Guardian and its business, in particular the departure of Carolyn McCall, CEO of Guardian Media Group (GMG), last week.
In a memo to staff reproduced by Beehive City, Rusbridger takes on the Times:
The Times’ print circulation is falling at exactly the same rate as the Guardian’s – but the Times’ web traffic is down seven per cent year on year while the Guardian’s rose by 22 per cent.
Having vociferously argued (in 2006) that newspapers were dangerously under-priced and that the future was about boosting cover price rather than hoping for increased advertising revenues, it is now talking about going free.
What’s right for Murdoch (with Sky as a digital subscription model in the background and infinitely deep corporate cross-subsidies) may well not work for us at GNM, and vice versa. There may be different models within one newspaper. We’ll all make some mistakes along the way. We can all learn from each other.
And why the Guardian and GMG will stick to its plans and be swayed by “the pecking and sniping of outsiders”.
Of all media companies I truly believe we are better placed than the great majority to make the transformative change that will be demanded of us. The editorial future has the potential to be richer than anything any previous generation of journalists could have imagined. We can imagine it – and we are well on the way to achieving it.