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Hello and welcome to this bonus edition of the media podcast who we're back with a proper show next week, but in the meantime we wanted to play you something we found really interesting it's an event called do we get the press we deserve the night was hosted by Miranda Sawyer.
Is it was in the late 80s everything about the press was changing and what was changing essentially was the way that it was produced the printing presses were changing wheel moving to desktop publishing this is a massive massive deal, but it took quite a long time to these things to happen and during the kind of 90s the papers stayed as newspapers so despite the fact that they've moved to desktop publishing not much change the ink became less inky their employees female economist to talk about things mostly relationships and boyfriend because they wanted more women to read it papers and I were.
Save talented but kind of ordinary British people made the headlines for that was mostly to do with can of britpop and football but then came the internet and of course newspapers thought this is fine.
We've dealt with wisdom with papers with radio.
This is all fine these processes and not a proper the entered is not a problem so initially I don't know if you remember this needs to sort that they would do with offer a version online you could print off yourself that was ever going to do that or bigger pictures, so we could look at them.
It's been well over the Decades since that's happened and everything is still in a state of flux.
It's not just a question of whether a newspaper should be free should have been behind a paywall but they should be members benefits which seems to be the way a lot of paper so going it's the actual format of the news for massive changed and they've changed not only the way that we see news, but also have papers see themselves if you think about the mail.
Shane BuzzFeed listicle Lavington post blogs prices kind of Google Glass live stream videos from Protest the format has produced all these new formats produced a new type of journalism that younger people prefer and as papers are constantly chasing kind of younger people.
This is what they worried about and I did that we want closer news, so we want lovely interviews with fantastic celebrity that we also want the dirt and technology has given us to that.
That's who I remember getting the BRIT Awards a bit ago and a tabloid journalist came up to me and said it was taken we've got all the methods of getting all the gossip that we know that we need we have basically mobile phones the footballer sending pictures of their willies to the wrong people but nobody's interested and I thought you're wrong and he was wrong with essential e-readers do wanted they just don't want it in a newspaper.
They don't want to go to the corner shop, they want on their laptop.
And I want it on their phones and they want it now what the papers give us now is more than ever dictated by what we want we click on the side by shame.
We like 11 horses it like Miley Cyrus if we only want pictures of tits and torture videos is that what the papers should be giving us essentially are we changing the newspaper newspapers.
Do we get the press that we deserve so to answer these questions and your questions as well.
We have Matt Kelly he's digital director a local world Media but I met him in the 1990s when use features editor of The Mirror so we're going to start off with me.
I am mad Kelly I've been a journalist for 25 years or so and I thought because I'm old and aged I'll give you a sort of historical perspective about how I got into this mess and how newspapers.
The mess there in now and and possibly some of the implications for that for us all a little paper in Merseyside Formby Times back in when I was 20 SATs 1989 and I earn £4,000 on the Formby Times and the deal was that for 3 years.
They would give me 4 grand and they would also train me as a journalist and it's send me away to Darlington for 3 months at a time 3 times and have a loan to become a professional journalist and after my dogs called in dentures like an apprenticeship and I was like what a common way to get into journalism in those days and these days it it's different talking about why that is in little moment but I got the suicide did my 3 years I've got my nctj exams and I can do 100 words a minute short and I understood about councils and Magistrates Courts and other those boring things that real people are quite affected by I then got straight out of the former times and join the paper in Liverpool called Liverpool Echo Liverpool Echo is a very big.
Regional newspaper and it paid £10,000 a year which was a good salary in those days 10000 quid a year especially in Liverpool which was on the bones of it are so you can you can have a really great time in Liverpool for 10 grand but I was I was very keen I wanted to get out of Liverpool because it was on the bones of it off and go down to London where everybody want to be as a journalist and the reason I wanted to be a journalist in London was the salary of a quiet.
Hi there quite high even 4 hour shift payments.
I drive down every Friday night down to London I stay in it for £20 a night shift all in Sussex Gardens and then do a shift in in on a Saturday newspaper for 140 quid and then do a shift for Monday paper the next day for 140 quid again and drive back to Liverpool and I'll be back on the Liverpool Echo for 6 on Monday morning that that was my life for 3 years until the Daily Mirror offered me a job when the Daily Mirror offered me a job for starting salary 1996 was 42000 quid.
Yeah, so that's why I was slugging up and down the M6 yeah.
I was you can buy a house in London you get a mortgage for 42000 quid that would buy you a house in London so that's why the M6 was full of people from London Liverpool and Manchester back and forth trying to get a job in national newspapers and went down to the mirror.
It was very it was of the big time.
You know it's very much the big time it felt like the big time as well money was was endless that was about 350 journalists employed on the mirror then and we sold 3 1/2 million copies a day so the money was coming out of the massive cash machine by the way if we all get misty eyed about how great newspapers used to be in the past this was this was the mirror of the day I was born and in those days in 1969 The Mirror had 650 journalists, they had including an office of 16 people in New York filling a paper that was never bigger than 32 pages, so should be 16 people in New York
Waiting maybe three or four stories a week in in the daily mirror the mirror has always being a cash cow tabloid newspapers still to this day or a huge Qashqai profitable machines courier work with Piers Morgan who always take the opportunity to say is a fantastic person really nice guy and he messing your loving but makes the best make himself look like a complete off everywhere in public, but great guy and a great editor and Piers made me features editor in 2000 when ever it was for something like this to speak to the list of the mirror for 5 years and I was never Once in all of that time asked to account for anything.
I spent the Mirror no budget never I still have no idea.
What my budget was at the mirror and we spend money like it's going out of fashion with a some really good things.
I remember flying Carl Bernstein the Watergate reporter Watergate was a big American political state review.
BuzzFeed generation and I flew Carl Bernstein over to report on The Blair enquiry and he was so jet like that he fell asleep during the Blair enquiry, so I wrote Carl Bernstein trump age Flash and we never pay nalanda shove it seems like famous famous New York lawyer 3400 words on Cemetery the highest-paid columnist in Britain and that is usually through money out like it's going out of fashion.
We did some things I wasn't tickly proud of in hindsight.
We paid Stan Collymore 120000 quid to tell the world that is docking exploits and he not something you would you and you would value that highly these days, but but no one knew up talking was in those days.
I remember piercing that extraordinary, but what is docking and Aunt and so we did that and also I paid about 1 reporter we planted probably MiFi
Tabloid Achievement one reporter in Buckingham Palace for 3 months undercover being a bottle to the Queen that was stabbed or investigation and that guy Ryan 5 out of 5 is a fantastic Smart TV decent value for money and the picture quality is incredible.
Not that I've actually watched it and never even used it.
This is a fake review and I can paint quite the picture for the right price of course wasting your time and your money.
I think review could cost you more than you think a witch membership.
Helps you avoid these lies search which for impartial product reviews which keep questioning to show how your LinkedIn connections can help you find a job.
They posted a job listing on LinkedIn for voice-over artists to make this add my girlfriend sent me this job.
So my cheeky little voice can be heard throughout the world when my colleague message me about this job posted.
I would like boom.
I'm going to that a friend from school day shirt.
Job now here I am talking into a microphone go see for yourself on LinkedIn what jobs are available through your connections find your next job on LinkedIn whatever you're in it for when we was together and he was off staff basically undercover for about 45 months and that cost the mirror maybe 150g, but the reason we did all that was that in those days the spike in circulation you got the next two three four five days was enormous when we got Ryan Parry in Buckingham Palace circulation was up 25% for the next three days solid now that paid for the Circuit pay for the cost the investigation and more but of course now when you have a big story in a newspaper.
There's no spike in circulation at or cos it's on the internet and it's gone before you can even sell a single.
Copy on the back of it.
So there's an economic reality to that as a consequence and the actual consequence in terms of granular people level is that
Starting salary on The Mirror now, it's probably about 25 grand something like this little bit more, but the reality is that the people who come to work on the mirror have to be able to afford to live in London on on a relatively lower salary than they used to be so you tend to get a load of kids from universities with relatively wealthy background in a different different kind of demographic and that's got a consequence of things to the touch point that newspapers have with the with the audience but the question is where did all the money go worrying lines is the revenue and the audience of circulation of the profit levels of stay stay the same so of course they have settled staff.
That's where the money is that are they made of the money the mirrors now.
Got about was its t150 German something like this, but 150 journalist doing three times as much as that is that right 96 pages in a newspaper never been better with tons of products and Leo today, but the the pressure on the staff is is enormous and Wear
That money go well it went as we know we know the answers this newspapers of Lost relevance gradually you on any tube train 30 years ago.
Everyone was reading a newspaper.
They bought they paid for 15 years ago.
Everyone was reading a free newspaper noticeable playing Candy Crush Saga newspapers have literally lost relevance in people's lives and if you lose relevance and someone's life you lose relevant with the advertisers as well.
So it's a disaster in terms of relevant.
We accepted disrupted models without paying any attention to those free newspapers.
I was talking about the Metro stuff for this the mirror circulation fell 14% of the course of six months and we didn't even look at the metro is a competitor.
We just put it down to something else happening out there wasn't a competitive set it was just a it was just a free newspaper and then you got beautiful phrase.
It's the first time I heard it.
I whatever you was good enough journalism.
You know this was it? It's just about good enough and it was it was newspapers was suddenly being created on the
Kasabian just about good enough to satisfy her a tube journey, and that wasn't a premium newspapers model still isn't so it's difficult and they close the internet the internet came along and kibosh.
Just completely cos we have so much best of Interest that we spent decades literally a decade or more arguing about whether or not we should we should engage with the internet that it might go away that that that is cannibalising or newspaper sales in it was Madness it was Madness for a newspaper like the mirror to have its own website because people would stop by the paper and we couldn't see beyond that because she was so wrapped up in our own little navel-gazing business model that we couldn't see we couldn't see beyond it and very very significant thing in the last 304 years is the shift in AD spending the technologies now that Drive had spent away from branded experiences and more toward identifying particular audiences and that's something the internet enables newspapers are helpless at technology.
We think a printing press is Hi-Tech so we.
Well, have a nature natural ability to adopt new technology and we're not cutting Edge tech vehicles, but the real reason we lost all of that money was arrogance in a way arrogance organisations.
We believe for a long time that We Owned that audience react to believe we created that audience we are enough to think that we could choose to dictate to that audience what business model they would fall in terms of consuming content but the reality was that the package of content in a newspaper had been disrupted and picked Apart by the internet before we even knew it and the consequence of that was that all of the makeup of a newspaper all of their thoughtful stuff alongside the salacious all the titillating stuff alongside with the expensive reporting and investigation all of that stuff be picked apart.
We found out the Ugly Truth was that 99% of people didn't want the thoughtful stuff.
They just wanted the salacious didn't want the investigations.
They just wanted the titillating stuff that was all problem and it's ba.
Is the audiences problem to me to answer your question do we get the press we deserve the truth if you don't get the press you deserve the press is much better than you deserve much better.
It's much better than you deserve and the danger to me.
Is that you'll get the internet you deserve because it's alright for a room like us full of pseudo intellectual liberal tosses stuff.
I find awkward stuff on slate and on The Economist and even on the bloody guardian will find a quality stuff, but if your if your whole world of here is dictated by the daily mails wall of shame or or BuzzFeed Buffy actually put an offer to pick up but feel like a lot of what BuzzFeed does but but if your whole world view is dictated by a Facebook for instance Facebook then that to me as a big step backwards in the in the intellectual conversation about Society I was looking for something to try sound clever at this discomfort.
Naturally turn calendar butter and and he he wrote a book about news last year and he said the media is what colours and textures are belief systems most problems in our Society come down to the media and I thought that the reverse is true.
It's society that colours everything in the media most problems in on media.
You can put down to our Society the media is just a reflection of our Society and the illusion.
We've been living under the brand that we carry does the Daily Mirror or the mail or the Telegraph of the Guardian the brand was full of loss leading journalism the stuff that gave made of palatable to advertisers made of palatable to the audience a general but it wasn't what they wanted and now the internet to pick that up up and when I think of society as well.
I think right back to where I Began on the Formby Times and I think the national press will look after itself one Way Or Another if the Daily Mirror and morphs into BuzzFeed over a period.
10 years no one loses it doesn't matter but if you lose something at a local level the former times where I started doesn't exist anymore in any meaningful sense.
It's run by 45 journalists in Southport 12 miles away.
No one covers the council's there.
No one talks about the property appeals the planning applications.
No one goes for the local magistrates court and covers all those cases and my question is that what happened WhatsApp bundle that package of content that a newspaper represented carried with it a profit margin that gave you permission to be tenacious and he gave you permission to do unprofitable things and ask awkward unprofitable questions and I think back to things like Hillsborough and I wonder which of these new models of journalism will be tenacious over the course of 20 years and keep asking unprofitable awkward questions about Hillsborough in the way that people from the Formby Times and then the Liverpool Echo and then the mirror carried on doing will do that will stick by and uncover the scandals.
Rotherham if everything we do is measured by some CPM metric everything we do is touted to the nth degree if you go to Business Insider in New York and you look at Henry blodgett.
God of New Digital publishing he's got on his desktop in front of him a list of every single journalism a journalist in his team measured by the revenue they contributed to the business that money loves it cos he's always top but someone's at the bottom and the pressure to get off the bottom is not by doing thoughtful investigative journalism that might matter to a community the pressure is to go to the race to the bottom so I worry about local newspapers and local newspapers need reinventing, but they're important as ask a quick question who here bought a coffee at Starbucks or Caffe Nero or something like this today.
Who's bought a coffee who paid for a coffee and then who bought a newspaper.
Thanks a lot.
Well, that's not hope you enjoyed it.
Thank you for listening and thank you to bug for hosting the event Emily men the producer Matt Hill and we're back with a new program next week by definition is the possibility of achieving more in the fast-paced world of digital advertising Oracle data cloud has built its Legacy on finding the signal through the noise on unlocking potential we bring together data and technology to help you better understand your audience where to best engage them and how to measure a tool to realise true potential Oracle data cloud where better outcomes begin visit Oracle data cloud., to learn more.
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