I’ve been stupidly busy the last few days so my only real info on the G20 summit has been from the radio and occasional glances at news websites and Twitter feeds, until a rather sleepy view of the BBC 10 o’clock news last night. So I took time this morning for breakfast and a proper read of the paper. (Guardian, but the other broadsheets gave a similar spread of coverage and comment.) It was a joy.
The reporting was clear, the breakdown of the communiqué a good mix of fact and analysis, the comment pieces pertinent (these with a clear Guardian standpoint of course, but with Simon Jenkins to leaven the mix). There was a nod to the fashionistas with the provenance of Michelle Obama’s outfits, and a suitably laconic piece on the politics of the official picture. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to find time to read it all again in one of the other broadsheets tonight. So what does this say for the future of newspapers?
Well, it confirms that in my house at least (which is a very average establishment, I like to thing) Monday to Friday papers have the same status as the weekend ones – best enjoyed at leisure with a cup of tea. The actual reading of them is the point. I found time because I wanted to see a real spread of coverage of a story which I had skimmed but needed a longer shot.
A full fat latte version, if you will, rather than the expresso. There is a crucial difference, though, between that and traditional feature fare – this was current, grounded in real news, hard working and focused. I really felt the passion of the journalists who had been involved.
Can they replicate this on a daily basis? Perhaps not, but it will keep me paying the newsagents bill for a bit longer. Will it be enough to sustain their future? I’d like to think it will. I think people are rediscovering the joy of a good read, and I think they are likely to be prepared to pay a premium for it. And where does PR fit in all this? Well someone has been writing all those media information packs…