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Panpa Bulletin : April 2007
6 PANPA Bulletin April 2007 news The vast majority of newspaper editors are optimistic about the future of their newspapers, according to a new global survey that provides an insider's view to newsroom attitudes and strategies. The Newsroom Barometer, conducted by Zogby International for the Paris-based World Editors Forum and Reuters, found that 85 per cent of editors are very optimis- tic or somewhat optimistic about the future of their newspapers. The survey of 435 editors-in-chief, depu- ty editors and other senior news executives from around the world late last year also found that: • 40 per cent of editors believe online will be the most common platform for news in ten years time while 35 per cent believe in print's supremacy. One in ten say mobile devices will be the most com- mon platform, while seven per cent cite e-paper. And two out of 10 respondents say it will be technologies that are still in the emerging stage. • Half the respondents believe that jour- nalistic quality will improve over the next 10 years, versus one-quarter who think it will worsen. • Eight in ten respondents view online and new media as a welcome addition. Those with high volume web traffic -- more than 200,000 unique visitors per day -- are more likely to view new media positively, but the majority of editors at newspapers with modest traffic or no web sites also viewed new media positively. • Three in ten respondents view free news- papers as a threat to the market, while the majority take a more benign view -- 34 per cent view them as a welcome addition and 28 per cent consider them negligible. • Respondents are almost evenly split over whether they think that the majority of news, both print and online, will be free in the future. • Three-quarters of respondents view the trends toward increased interactivity between news organisations and their readers as positive for quality journalism, while eight per cent take the negative view. • Fifty-four per cent of editors think shareholders and advertisers pose the principal threat in the future to editorial independence of newspapers. Nineteen per cent of respondents, mostly from the developing world, cite political pressure as the main threat. • Two-thirds of respondents say that the number of opinion and analysis pages will increase in coming years. • Training journalists in new media is cited most often by editors as a priority to increase editorial quality. Hiring more journalists is the second most frequently cited priority. The survey provides a picture of an industry in transition, but one that is rapidly adapt- ing to the new media environment. World Editors Forum director Bertrand Pecquerie said the survey shows that news- paper editors are making efforts to adapt to 21st century readership. "They know how to effectively make the transition to online journalism without reducing editorial quality," he said. "Editors- in-chief realise that content matters more than ever and cutting newsroom resources is not at all an effective solution: the reshap- ing of news will take place with journalists, rather than at their expense." Reuters Media managing director said the survey reveals an industry ready and willing to face dramatic change. "Training journalists in new media skills has emerged as the most popular method for senior editors to increase editorial quality in their newsrooms, and 51 per cent believe that the general quality of journalism will improve over the next decade," she said. "This optimism builds on deep changes in the way news is consumed. Many editors view news as a 'conversation' with readers rather than a 'lecture' from journalists, and the perceived increase in the importance of analysis and opinion pages shows newspa- per editors realise that they must change their content offering in order to survive and prosper." The results of the Newsroom Barometer survey are contained in Trends in Newsrooms 2007, the annual WEF report on the latest editorial developments from around the world (http://www.trends-in- newsrooms.org ). Newspaper editors optimistic about future APN rollsout Atex In the first part of a major rollout, APN News & Media has begun using Atex soft- ware to book and publish its advertising on a centralised system at The Gympie Times and Cooloola Advertiser. The company plans to install the soft- ware at all of its 110 regional newspapers within 12 months. According to APN group projects direc- tor Nigel Tisdale, this first milestone has been achieved within 6 months of contract signing through the joint efforts of APN and Atex project teams. "A major factor in our decision was that the new Atex solution is a highly efficient multi-media advertising package that has the capacity to deliver the flexibility and value-add tools our sales teams need to compete strongly in an increasingly com- petitive marketplace," he said. "We see it as a solution on which we hope to build, enhancing our operations into the multimedia future."