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Panpa Bulletin : May 2010
The PANPA Bulletin is the official publication of the Newspaper Publishers' Association. The views expressed in The Bulletin are not necessarily those of the Association. Send all feedback to email@example.com ISSN 1443-7481 ©PANPA - 2010 Issue 278 of The PANPA Bulletin NPA Board NPA Staff Mark Hollands Chief Executive Officer Nick Evershed Editorial Coordinator Rebecca Leaver Editorial Coordinator Samantha Gibbens Cager Business Development Manager Lucy Tan Accounts/Administration NPA, Level 4, 69-71 Edward Street, Pyrmont, NSW, 2009, Australia Phone: +61 2 8338 6300 Fax: +61 2 8338 6311 www.panpa.org.au Andrew Leighton Norske Skog President Joe Talcott News Ltd Martin Simons APN Publishing, New Zealand Campbell Reid News Ltd Ross McPherson Shepparton Newspapers Chris Pash Dow Jones, Asia Pacific Vice-President Liam Roche West Australian Newspapers Ken Nichols Fairfax Media Anne Fussell Fiji Times Matthew Sharkady Goss International Robert Whitehead Fairfax Media www.panpa.org.au 2 | The PANPA Bulletin | MAY 2010 CEO's Column Mark Hollands CEO of the Newspaper Publishers' Association Quality journalism requires credible judgments IT is too easy to get distracted these days. The confectionary of iPads, mo- biles and the prospect of charging for content that punters reckon they should have for free, are all contrib- uting to an industry that is waking up -- finally! -- to the fact we live in a world of amazing possibilities, not diminishing prospects. Technology-inspired transforma- tion is a process that has shaken other industries, such as banking and travel. In newspapers, we have been all about efficiency and optimisation -- both wonderful concepts but they fall considerably short of the chal- lenges before us today. We have enjoyed the luxury of commercial certainty longer than most; the certainty that we have read- ers, advertisers, and a business proc- ess that puts a complex product on the shelves and in the newsstands. Today we can be certain of some- thing else: that we're history if we do not create a new generation of media companies to meet the consumer demands for multi-platform news consumption. As newspapers traverse this unique era of change and challenge, we want to believe another certainty to sustain us -- that newspapers are the source of quality journalism. Of all the commercial risks that newspaper companies are about to take, few are greater than allowing such a notion to take hold in a com- pany or newsroom culture. We don't get to decide whether our journalism is "quality". The consumer does. And the consumer is every bit the challenge that new technology is. Few commercial realities of the past 20 years have been given so much airing as the demand of modern- day consumers for knowledge about what they buy. There are thousands of examples as varied as Dell and its exploding laptop batteries, to the $2-a-day wages in a Nike factory in the 80s. This demand for corporate trans- parency has changed the way many companies think and behave. It was the foundation of the radical Sar- banes-Oxley financial legislation and consumer privacy laws led by the European Union. Few mass audience products have avoided the magnifying glass of transparency like newspapers. To most people, they remain a mystery; a law unto themselves. (This is less true in Asian markets where many governments issue licences to enforce self-censorship and the punishment of transgression, rather than create transparency to the consumer). This lack of transparency has fed on negative clichés such as, 'you can- not believe what you read', or 'never let the facts get in the way of a good story', and so on. Most errors in a newspaper are just that. Such inaccuracy occurs in every business; we just have to wear them on our sleeve. What most readers struggle with is our decision-making criteria. What makes a front page story? Why is it news that an Australian cricketer is talking to a blonde in the street; how does a convicted fraudster become a single source for a page one story; how could you print nude photos of someone before being cer- tain it really was her; at what point did you think it was a public service to smuggle a fake bomb into a rugby match; why do IT writers regurgitate childish rants of geeks in chatrooms as if they had credibility? Our editorial judgment is the greatest determination of our qual- ity. While the buck stops with the editor, it is incumbent on senior colleagues and section editors to uphold standards. Even in newsrooms struggling for resources, it is not sufficient reason to publish an article just because it has been commissioned. The foundation of most good deci- sion-making in the commercial world is the alignment between a decision and the values of the organisation. If you work for a publisher who believes in the fundamental tenet of accuracy, then you should not be publishing anything that you "think" is right. Often, a decision-making process is provided to help staff avoid mistakes -- a checklist, if you like. It doesn't mean the decision-maker is stupid or incapable; it's simply a device to get a better outcome. If we continue, globally, to insist grandly that newspapers are the source for quality journalism, then we all need to live that concept through the judgments we make every day. As this industry reshapes itself, readers will expect us to embrace the technologies, but they will value the quality editorial decisions that create quality journalism. Production: APN Print Yandina on a manroland Uniset 75 press Paper: 60gsm Norstar 80, supplied by Norske Skog Art Direction & Design: Jason Howard, Leader Community Newspapers Colour Management: Richard Maguire, Leader Community Newspapers Glen St Leon, Fairfax Media Proudly printed by APN Print your partner PRINT PANPA thanks the following organisa- tions and people for their contribution in producing The Bulletin: Editorial We don't get to decide whether our journalism is 'quality'. The consumer does" " Newspaper Publishers' Association Newspaper Publishers' Association Master of his destiny 16 Editor's job in paradise 18 PANPA iPhone app coming soon! DEVELOPMENT on our iPhone app is well un- der way and should be available in the iTunes app store towards the end of the month, or early next month, depending on the iTunes approval process. The app will feature all the latest news from our website, as well as opinion articles from The Bulletin columnists and PANPA editorial team. We'll also be trying to include our video content in the app, and will have an events and business directory for PANPA members. PANPA is undertaking the app develop- ment as a case-study with WoodWing, an iPhone app developer catering to newspa- pers.PANPA CEO Mark Hollands said: "We are delighted to work with WoodWing and be able to showcase their technology. I am confi- dent it will demonstrate to regional and local newspapers what can be achieved with lim- ited resources. This will be exciting." Why we are green PRINTERS understand the green debate as well as anyone in the commercial world. They're not wringing their hands in anxiety at sea levels rising, or empires falling. That's for the politicians. Instead, they translate green to equate to efficiency. If you use less "stuff", then you create less waste. And if you do that, it stands to reason you spend less and use fewer of the planet's resources. It's not a hard concept to wrap your brain around. Unfortunately, the industry just has trouble being proud of what it achieves in this area. It's another topic for that burgeoning file, 'we're not very good at marketing ourselves, are we?' When it comes to selling our green credentials, attitudes that can affect our commercial future need to change. Readers and advertisers see newspapers as about as green as a piece of coal. At least one newspaper has received a call from a corporate buyer of news- papers asking for its green credentials before renewing subscriptions. Major advertisers are moving towards sets of rules for their suppliers that are designed to underpin their own green story for their marketplace. Newspapers need to craft their green message for their respective markets. Staff need to be educated about where our newsprint comes from, and how it is recycled and re-used. Ad executives need to be proactive with ad agencies to ensure we are ahead of the debate. We need to break percep- tions of our clients -- and many of our own colleagues -- that we are environ- mentally unfriendly. This issue of The Bulletin is a small ef- fort in this direction. Colleagues Nick Evershed and Rebecca Leaver have visited one of the region's largest paper mills, created a video on how newsprint is made and written on the topic. For a second successive edition, we have inserted a flyer outlining the key facts of newspapers' green story. On our website, www.panpa.org.au, we have resources to help you take the message to your colleagues and to the market. This is a task that belongs to us all; and it's not rocket science. Failure to make clear the outstanding green-related practices of our industry carries commercial dangers that may hurt us all. Mark Hollands COVERAGE: Pages 11,12,13,14 GOING GREEN