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Panpa Bulletin : September 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ISSN 1443-7481 ©PANPA - 2010 Issue 280 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 CEO's Column Mark Hollands CEO of the Newspaper Publishers' Association The times, they are a-changin' 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: Newspaper Publishers' Association Newspaper Publishers' Association DIGITAL IDEAS insight from the industries best 2 | SEPTEMBER 2010 | The PANPA Bulletin 0 5 10 15 20 Local Regional Metro 0 5 10 15 20 60-70 50-60 40-50 30-40 25-30 18-25 PHOTOGRAPHERS are struggling to keep up with technology change even though nearly 25 percent of them are now shooting a mix of stills and video, according to a straw poll of 50 snappers conducted by the Newspaper Publishers' Association. Some 68 percent of respondents say they have not had training for more than 12 months. Nearly a quarter claim they have been offered no training for five years or more. Sixty percent of photographers say they had asked for training. Some 22 percent say they take a mix of video and stills photography -- a surprising figure given only 34 percent of respondents work for national or metropolitan newspapers. Photographers love their job -- and the vast ma- jority of respondents have worked in media for 10 years or more. Some 86 percent say they take all types of pho- tographs. Nearly half of them say this variety is the spice of their professional life. A third prefer to take sports photographs more than any other, and 40 percent believe sport to be the most challenging of all as- signments. At least a third own equipment that is less than two years old -- the majority of which comes from Canon. Their hours of work appear under control. Some 63 percent say they work 45 hours or less each week. Only 8 percent say they put in 50-plus hours. And they're not wasting their time as editors use most of the photographs commissioned. Nearly 60 percent say more than 70 percent of their photo- graphs get a run. Few snappers spend time waiting to be as- signed but travel takes up a substantial part of their day. Some 60 percent say a third or more of their day is spent on the move. On the technology front, photographers say manufacturers, especially Canon and Nikon, need to improve technology for auto-focus and low-light performance, as well as upgrade the controls and user-interface. Age of respondents Type of news organisation The average age of the respondents Respondents' type of news organisation MY FIRST PAPER Our new series "Back in my day" PAGE 14 PAGES 10 & 11 CIRCULATION and readership figures have been coming out across Australia and New Zealand in the past month. Depending on which side their bread is buttered, com- mentators' opinions have ranged from a "boost to readership" to a "circulation bloodbath continues". It amazes me how the rah-rah-web- sites for digital media disintegrate into apoplexy over a circulation drop of 3 percent -- which really is a matter of only a couple of thousand copies at most even for the bigger papers; and equally how editors read into their figures how brilliant they are, and what rubbish the opposition is (as if the readers give a damn about a paper they don't buy). What chance, do you think, that everyone takes a chill pill on these circulation figures? None, probably . . . Whichisa shame. Because this is an industry in transition. We are transforming our investment strategies and priorities because our business is changing. Circulation figures dropping . . . say something we don't know. Of course, they're slipping -- that's the very issue that has brought forward the digital strategies of publishers. Launches of iPad apps, iPhone apps, videos by the thousand each week are not happening because it amuses us. These are tactical reactions to a major shift in society towards digital - not analogue - com- munication and news consumption. No editor should surrender a single newspaper copy sale; and those who are holding or even gaining ground must surely be doing a heroic job. Yet, to castigate an entire industry for the sliding performance of its print product, when it is busy reshap- ing its future because of a massive and accelerating shift in society to technology-based news-consump- tion is misleading. Those of us in the privileged posi- tion of being able to comment on the fortunes of our industry need to pro- vide mature commentaries founded on business principles, as opposed to denying the obvious, beating up on supposed opponents in print, or hysterically, gleefully predicting the death of print. Print won't die. But it will find a new, natural level. Wherever that might be. And recent audit results are part of the process. The almost uniform performances in the last audit period -- drops of around 3 percent -- indicate that what is happening to the industry is at a societal level; and it is driven by improving digital technologies that have already transformed other industries, such as financial services and travel. Mirroring this restructuring, the American Audit Bureau of Circula- tions is about to change the way it counts -- it will now include among copy sales the number of subscribers to a website, downloads of an iPhone app, and so on. This is a true reflection of the opportunity a publisher holds for advertisers. And, really, the only reason circulation audits exist is to show advertisers how many copies we sell; so we can create a price that they can equate to a value-based purchase. No one else is much in- terested other than proprietors and, maybe, a few stockholders. The Americans, whose media journey has been far more brutal than our own in this period of on- going transformation, are doing the right thing. Newspapers are part of the story - not all of it. Not anymore. Times have changed. To underline this, some overseas publishers are stressing their own structural transition in quarterly reports to the market. For the first time, display advertising at the UK's Financial Times is no longer the ma- jority contributor to its bottom line. The New York Times Co., has already achieved this and continued to do so in the last quarter. Axel Springer, the top German publisher, has flagged that its print revenues are likely to be up in total, but reduced in terms of its contribution to its own bottom line. Scandinavian publisher Schibsted made this transition some five years ago. When I joined PANPA little more than two years ago, I was told Schibsted was not a meaningful case study for our papers. This structural change is happen- ing. Our circulation numbers are not a bloodbath; actually I think they are impressive in the circumstances. Our digital strategies, however, are not fast enough. At the risk be- ing accused of heresy by publish- ers, I'd say our greatest challenge is our speed to market in the digital space. The newspapers -- and the quality of their journalism and value of their audience to advertis- ers -- are going well even in these tough times. Editorial At the risk being accused of heresy by publishers, I'd say our greatest challenge is our speed to market in the digital space" " Print won't die. But it will fall to a new, natural level. Wherever that might be" " Desperately seeking training, survey finds