On occasion I post a comment somewhere I’d like to keep hold of. So here’s my comment on a post by David Higgerson talking about something I said at news:rewired.
Blimey, I really need to stop ranting at news rewired! If only because I end up wanting to explain myself. You’ve done that for me very well though.
On the HS2 example, Ross got some great personal stories that the other media simply didn’t. It’s one of many examples where our own volunteer-created coverage has dwarfed that of trad media. The reasons for that though are many and generalising like I managed to do with my comments isn’t right.
I partly wonder whether the cause is a culture/morale thing. Given the attitude from some regionals (management, I mean) towards the question of sustainability I wonder if their approach (seemingly sacrificing good journalism to keep making a profit) has filtered down somehow.
I’m not suggesting journalists are only interested in money (you’ve already pointed out why that’s pointless) but perhaps journalists are more conscious that they need to make money for the paper so they are subconsciously changing their attitude towards stories they perhaps don’t see as profitable.
You’ve given examples that show you’ve identified where your passion for reporting influences sales of the paper. So perhaps what I’m trying to get across is that regionals need to be looking at why the paper sells and helping its journalists to see that. The passion would tie directly into a successful paper as well as a well-served community.
You’ve written on this before David so it’ll be nothing new to you. If only all regionals involved their journalists like that, instead of sacking them and replacing journalism with glorified discussion forums.