The new media world of Manchester’s bloggers came face to face with 140 years of newspaper heritage at the Manchester Evening News (MEN) last night.
But even a paper that began life in a “dingy office in Brown Street” has had to change with the times. Now housed in shiny offices, the decor is not the only thing that’s changed.
Assistant news editor, Paul Gallagher, explained how the MEN’s print, online capability and tie-up with Manchester TV station, Channel M, means that decisions on news are very much based on its suitability for the medium, though the paper tends to time the release of online news with the hard copy, so not to compete with itself.
What’s also changed is the way content comes together, combining old fashioned news hounding with readers’ online comments, video taken on reporters’ mobile phones and the work of citizen journalists. As Paul says: “The benchmark for a good story hasn’t changed. But you just have more people contributing to it.”
And the days of the “death knock” – visiting the homes of the recently bereaved in search of a story and, vitally, a photo – may be numbered with newspapers like the MEN turning to online tribute sites for the material they need.
Head of online editorial, Sarah Hartley, described the paper’s move to greater online content and gave a sneak preview of the live blogging and Twittering planned for the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, which starts this Saturday in Manchester.
Still, it was great to see some relics from the past remain, such as the MEN’s hard copy reference library (see pic).