Thursday, 15 September 2011

I want high quality, intelligent, thought-through analysis and I want it now!

Roy Greenslade, whose blog at the Guardian website should be obligatory reading for those in media land, wrote an excellent piece in last night’s Evening Standard about the strange death of Sunday newspapers which can be read HERE.

Greenslade rightly hangs his article on the ‘lost’ 700,000 News of the World readers that have not gone over to another Sunday newspaper since the demise of the NOTW in June. However, Roy points out that Sunday newspapers have been in decline for years due to changing lifestyles (Sunday is no longer a day of calm reflection, you are more likely to be on the golf course, sailing a boat or paragliding apparently) and the demise of the NOTW has only accelerated the process.

The real crux of the matter though is that, in the era of 24 hour news, the agenda has moved on by the time Sunday comes round. It used to be that something would happen on Tuesday or Wednesday and the daily newspapers would report the facts leaving it to the Sundays (the Sunday Times was especially good at this) to provide the in-depth analysis and the behind-the-scenes story.

Thatcher’s downfall in 1992 was reported in this way, with lots of juicy gossip about which grey-suited men had actually gone in to see her and tell her the game was up. Of course the journalists who wrote that analysis would probably have known much of the background on the Thursday or Friday but were able to hold the information back for Sunday’s paper.

Now, in the era of blogging, the juicy details come out much quicker. I suspect if a Conservative Prime Minister was dethroned nowadays the likes of Iain Dale, Conservative Home or Guido Fawkes would be able to tell me who said what to whom that very evening.

That ultimately explains the strange death of Sunday newspapers. If I want good quality analysis nowadays I can get it almost instantaneously from a myriad of sources – why wait until Sunday?


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