News - the future?

I have been commenting for a while on the future of the newspaper - how far into the future have the BBC looked or those big publishing houses that rely on competitive news coverage?

There is no doubt that newspapers are losing out, particularly the big all consuming broad coverage types - the succeeders so far seem to be the wee regional tabloids who are feeding a specific market. (All hail the Press & Journal)

After a meeting with Andy last night we started shooting the breeze about the role advertising plays in providing a source of income for papers and Rupert Murdochs subscription models to protect his control of newspapers online. The most interesting is the time based model, where you start to read an article and if you have been looking at the site for over a minute it locks you out unless you pay for access (semi accurate description).

Another element that got us quite fired up was the fact that if you go anywhere else in the world to look at the BBC website to read the news the website is covered in advertising unlike in its home country.

What if the big newspapers came tumbling down and we were reduced to news agencies who sold their content to community sites - where are we likely to go for our news?

I'm guessing the BBC - who don't rely on advertising just our license fee... Is the BBC the devil, and we own it, destroying any other trust worthy, paid for news source in its path?

The big picture says to me that if online newspapers are to compete they have to take on the BBC, not just from a content but a credibility point of view; and how do they compete with a free access global giant like the BBC?

They stay small, regional, specific and opinionated - in other words they don't compete they play in a different park.

Image credits:
Perfect Competition


  1. As an aside, I'd like to mention that I really like the Glasgow Herald's new design (beta version can be seen here: And between the Scotsman and the Herald I will continue to prefer the Herald because the email updates I get on my Blackberry are instantly readable whereas the Scotsman you have to trawl through piles of graphical code before you get to the actual content... RUBBISH.

  2. Colin, great article and rather than ramble on here check the link...

  3. Keith it would appear that we are not the only ones with concerns about the impact by BBC:

  4. Excellent article Colin. Very timely coming a few days before James Murdoch's MacTaggart lecture rant. I find it hard to sympathise with News Corporation, as you can see at


Post a Comment