I've been meaning to blog for a few days about the closure of Press Gazette. As a business journalist, I'm sad to see the end of any business publication - especially one serving my profession. But I must confess that I've never been a Press Gazette reader.
Anyway, the publication's owner Wilmington Group is planning to turn the PG website into "a resource for the UK journalism community"; its editor, Dominic Ponsford, explains: "The news element of this website will cease - but Wilmington does plan to introduce new community features."
That's interesting, because there's a bit of a debate going on in my company at the moment regarding the "news element" of our community websites. The site I work for provides its particular business sector with around a dozen news stories a day, often more. Some of these are unique to the web, others are repurposed print stories.
If the number of news stories per day was cut to half a dozen, say, it would certainly free up resources to work on new features such as photo galleries, or to improve existing features such as our forums or our blogs (although both forums and blogs can offer alternative forms of news provision). But what effect would cutting the number of news stories have on our site's traffic? On our reputation? On the value of our offering?
If we reduced our news element, our reporters' roles would also change. They would spend less time working on the traditional news story and more time exploring unfamiliar concepts such as live blogging*. The question I have is: do we put so much emphasis on the straight news story because it is what serves our community best, or because it's what we're used to from print? Don't ask me, I'm just a sub.
Incidentally, it's worth reading the comments following the Wilmington statement, if only because one of the commenters tells Roy Greenslade to 'stop waving his willy about'.
*I went to a very interesting discussion on live blogging today led by my colleague Adam Tinworth of One Man and His Blog. Had I live-blogged it, it would - I suppose - have been an example of meta live blogging. Or live meta blogging. Like I said: don't ask me, I'm just a sub.
Harry Bosch, trainee prescriptivist
3 days ago