Monday, 8 June 2009


So, The Telegraph's riotous revelations about MP's expenses didn't stop it losing circulation year-on-year in May.

Despite dominating the entire UK news agenda for month, bringing about the near collapse of Gordon Brown’s ailing Government, destroying the careers of Blair’s Babes and ultimately exposing our elected representatives for the corrupt cheats they are - the Daily Telegraph's average daily sales still fell from 862,966 in May 2008 to 836,410 last month.

Yes, they brought us sordid story after sordid story of floating duck islands, moat clearing and bath plug claims - but somehow all this wasn’t enough to stop their own circulation from sinking.
Just goes to show what a tough time our newspapers are having right now. Who needs the Telegraph when you have Twitter? More and more of us it seems. And what a shame.

Ask most people if they want to save the newspaper industry – and they’d say yes. Getting us to actually carrying on buying papers is quite another. It seems we all have a touch of the Hazel hypocrisy about us.

However, the Telegraph’s hard work wasn’t entirely in vain. The MP mayhem meant they were the top performing national quality daily newspaper for this period and compared with April, sales were up by an average of 2.3 per cent a day.

Yes they deserved more (for sparing us from anymore Blears alone) – but these are bad times for broadsheets.

I know that the very concept of paid for subscriptions has been dismissed by those in the know – but I am not so sure this thought can last. Even Murdoch has changed his tune of late, recently announcing on his Fox network that, “the age of free access to newspaper websites will come to an end, with a paid subscription model supplanting the current freebie system.”

It is figuring out how to capitalise on web based newspapers that has eluded the industry so far. Murdoch’s prediction of a subscription based business has been impractical to sell, given that web users will simply move to a website that is free - in a world with seemingly limitless content. But surely, the lack of a comprehensive, industry wide strategy is the real issue here?

The Telegraph has proved once and for all that the world has a need for quality reporting. The country mustn’t be allowed to forget what it has achieved (and we haven’t got anywhere near the end of the story yet). So newspaper chiefs – strike whilst the iron is hot. The country needs you – don’t let us forget it.


Post a Comment