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Panpa Bulletin : July 2011
RESTRUCTURE is happen- ing on a daily basis in our industry. Newspaper publishers are driving efficiency in print and investing in digital, un- leashing apps to a market of smartphone fans and a small but passionate band of early tablet adopters. Demanding payment for content on digital platforms – thought to be a risky busi- ness just a year ago – is quickly becoming a common strategy as print revenues tighten. While digital grabs the at- tention, newspapers continue to dominate cash flows, com- mand the attention of millions and remain influential in, and arguably critical to, the public life of a democracy. While traditionalists might get misty-eyed about print, our industry must surely be destined for massive restruc- ture – from newsrooms to printing centres – in the next five years. So what will our business looklikein2016... strategies for print Tony Gillies, editor-in-chief of the Australian Associated Press, says there’s no reason print can’t survive if newspa- per owners can adjust their business structures. “Newspapers will be a part of the media landscape, but they’ll be vastly different,” he says. “We’ll see many iterations as newspapers adapt to com- mercial realities. “We’ll see a masthead in print, web and any device that’s moving.” A former Fairfax NSW operations manager, Stuart Shirvington, says broadsheets still have room to rationalise. Short-term pain will mean long-term gain, he says. “Newspapers are not com- petitive in production and distribution – especially when you’ve got two trucks taking similar products to the same places,” he observes. “Sharing presses won’t save much in the way of paper but you make savings in other areas – staff, capital costs and depreciation.” While Australian and New Zealand management grapples with such massive changes, the print market to their north is thriving. Chief executive of Singa- pore Press Holdings, Alan Chan, says print is robust. “We are confident our products will continue to be well read in the next five years. Our unique offering is focused on our Singapore readership and differentiates us from commodity news available on internet.” Niche and hyper-local news could prove to be increasingly viable avenues by 2016, he says. “There is a need to differ- entiate [our journalism] from commodity news,” says Mr Chan. “To survive as a newspaper company, we need to carve out niches to secure our read- ership.” Singapore is certainly a different market to ANZ, smaller and by comparison still emerging. SPH has also invested in customer relationship man- agement systems, around which so much of their mar- ket and subscription activities are based. Tony Hale, CEO of The Newspaper Works, says the industry “will evolve to have far more established cross- platform readership”. Digital content and news- papers “don’t cannibalise each other”, he claims, “they complement each other”. Australian readers tend “not to drop the printed newspaper for an online or a digital serv- ice because the nature of the reading is different”, he says. AAP chief executive Bruce Davidson is at the centre of the Australian restructure debate because his company owns the outsourcing unit, Pagemasters. He believes news products, including newspapers, will have a tighter focus. Management’s ability to balance the transition of rev- enues to digital will be a mat- ter of survival for newspapers, he says. “Newspapers, fairly obvi- ously, will have to address the lack of advertising revenue and the migration of that ad- vertising to digital,” he says. “It’s cheaper and advertis- ers are starting to get more traction from digital.” Changing newsroom Colleagues believe news- rooms are likely to become smaller and freelance oppor- tunities greater, as outsourc- ing expands and core costs are reduced. Successful journalists will be specialists and see them- selves as their own product, creating a career from their passion, expertise and an ability to market themselves as adaptable communicators for a variety publishers and broadcasters. In the pared down news- room of 2016, speed will be the key. “Journalists have to be much more responsive be- cause you don’t have 12 hours to get stuff out there, you have 12 minutes,” continues Mr Davidson. “The newsroom at AAP has changed significantly in the past two years, if not the last six months. “We’re faster, using strate- gies and technologies to more effectively disseminate our content to various channels – mobile, websites and for print. “I’m seeing a trend in which newspapers are saying, ‘our most valuable asset is our content; our writing, report- ing, investigative journalism’,” he says. “They want to protect their unique content. The way it is disseminated is important.” Consultant Allan Marshall from iMedia Advisory, says the recalibration of editorial resources is painful but will help print journalism survive. “Fairfax is now outsourc- ing, but the Telegraph in Lon- don has been doing that for almost two years. It has been outsourcing 300 pages a week to Pagemasters, and they’ve reduced their headcount accordingly,” he says. P.O. Box 2187, Milton BC, Qld 4064, Australia. Phone +61 417 709 099 email: email@example.com web: www.dianastowers.com Build product knowledge, communication skills and professional confidence in your sales team.Give them the tools required to communicate more effectively in the marketplace. Call today to hear how quickly and simply an affordable training program can be tailored to suit your needs. How to grow your business www.panpa.org.au The PANPA Bulletin | JULY 2011 | sPeCIaL RePORT: FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY Bosses sleep on street for charity Sophie Tarr NPA AAP CEO Bruce Davidson raises over A$10,000 for homeless services delivered by charity St Vincent De Paul The future starts now Margaret Simons, journalist, Crikey . . . It’s entirely possible newsrooms will have only two dozen journalists Alan Chan, CEO, Singapore Press Holdings ... To surviveas a newspaper company, we need to carve out niches to secure our readership CONTINUED Page 17 JOHN Hartigan is used to publish- ing newspapers, not sleeping under them. For one night, the News Limited CEO swapped the comfort of his Pad- dington home, in Sydney’s posh eastern suburbs, for a patch of card- board and a sleeping bag. Mr Hartigan, along with 250 other corporate leaders, took part in this year’s “Vinnies CEO Sleepout” to raise funds for the St Vincent de Paul homeless services. He raised more than A$100,000 for the charity, making him the sec- ond-biggest fundraiser of the night. The head of Australian Associated Press, Bruce Davidson, raised a fur- ther A$10,000. Mr Hartigan packed light. “I brought a bottle of water, some warm clothes and – dare I say it – Ugg boots,” he said. He drew the line at using a news- paper to stay warm. “As much as I love The Australian, I couldn’t possibly sleep on it,” Mr Har- tigan laughed. “The Australian is deserving of a much better place in my kit than spreading it out to sleep on.” He said his compassion for Aus- tralia’s estimated 105,000 homeless compelled him to take part. AAP’s Bruce Davidson said: “It’s a clever concept for CEOs to do some- thing out of their comfort zone, and an amazing opportunity to raise money.” The hardest part of the night was a lack of sleep. “I can put up with the cold and the rain, but after five hours with- out sleeping, it’s not much fun,” Mr Davidson said. The only newspaper sellers on the scene – Big Issue vendors Mitchell (left) and Glenn – do a roaring trade Trevor Allen NPA Jolanta Masojada, analyst, Credit Suisse... Newspapers have no choice but to charge for digital content