Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Times newspaper and the future of journalism

I have been at The Times newspaper in London for nearly a month now on a David Astor Journalism Awards Trust (DAJAT) work placement. While here, I have witnessed two major developments in The Times that could influence the UK media industry in the near future.

Firstly, The Times launched its ipad edition (I am posing with the first issue in the photograph on the left). This is the first time ever that the newspaper has appeared on anything other than paper, in its over 200 years of existence.

This a first for the newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch's New International. By the end of last week, 7,500 people had subscribed to the ipad edition while a further 107,000 people have registered for the online subscription as the newspaper readies to start charging for online content.

The UK has a long tradition of print journalism, and The Times newspaper, established in the 1780's, has become a brand in journalism, lent its name to newspapers around the world such as The New York Times, and originated the "Times Roman" typeface that is used in computers today.

In journalism, information cannot be exclusively owned. This is often the argument advanced when newspapers attempt to charge for access to online content. But according to me, The Times newspaper looks certain to survive because of the time-tested brand name, and loyalty from readers.

The newspaper has been long considered to be UK's newspaper of record, with its high standards of journalism and can rely on this to charge for content access. Readers - who are voluntary buyers of newspapers - only buy what suits their taste. In order for a newspaper to survive in a period of dwindling newspaper circulation figures and low advertising, high standards of journalism should be upheld.

1 comment:

  1. Hehe, and what is the second one? You left us hanging.... Namirembe