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Panpa Bulletin : August 2011
www.panpa.org.au WINNING PRINT AWARD Winners of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 PANPA Awards for Technical Excellence in both single and double-width print categories (0-25k circ). Proud printers of the PANPA Bulletin. Join the winning team for best impressions...always. P. 1300 276 778 • E. firstname.lastname@example.org • W. apnprint.com.au The PANPA Bulletin | AUGUST 2011 | AUSTRALIAN newsagents say their cus- tomers’ opinions of local newspapers have not been affected by the News of the World scandal, according to a straw poll conducted by this Association. Of 61 newsagents who responded, 78 percent said the scandal had not damaged the reputation of local newspapers. An overwhelming 83 percent said customers had remained loyal to their fa- vourite newspaper despite the scandal. One Fairfax insider said if there had been a migration from News Ltd tabloids, the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, then “we’re not seeing it”. Newsagents were given the opportu- nity to make comment on the scandal, and this revealed readers understood the scandal did not embroil local newspaper journalists. “Customers are bright enough to real- ise that the UK market is different,” said one newsagent. Another said readers had more impor- tant issues closer to home: “I don’t get the feeling this issue has high importance, whereas the carbon tax is threatening our livelihoods.” A third newsagent said it would have been different if Australian journalists had been phone-hacking. “Had it been an Australian paper, then we might have seen a decline in sales. Hopefully, none of our papers have sunk that low.” More than 50 percent of respondents said customers had made comment on the scandal while in their shop. “The Murdoch family reputation is tarnished,” said one. “The actions of the reporters have disgusted customers, more so with the interference with missing people and murder cases.” Another was more scathing: “I don’t think customers have an expectation of publishers holding high moral ground, it is understood sales is what drives news- papers.” Phone hacking ‘not our issue’ Dominion Post adopts ‘digital-first’ strategy A NEWSROOM shake-up is set to put the Fairfax-owned Dominion Post on a new path, after the editor de- clared digital journalism no longer the “poor cousin” in the newsroom. In an address to staff, editor Bernadette Courtney said the cur- rent structures were reflective of “old style newsrooms”. “But if The Dominion Post is to survive as a compelling news brand we need to adopt a digital-first and reader-first culture in our newsroom,” she said. Ms Courtney said The Dominion Post, based in Wellington, needed to be much more aggressive in becom- ing a digital-first company. “That calls for me as editor to set a new path and be much bolder in my thinking.” The changes see the three roles of deputy editor and assistant editors disestablished and the creation of four new roles: digital editor, week- end and specials editor, daily editor and features and comment editor. “The review of the newsroom, its structures, roles and workflows is not an efficiency drive. It’s about the way we work, not about rationalising jobs,” said Ms Courtney. But digital-first was not about throwing everything online, she added. “It is accepting that we as a brand have competitors everywhere. If we don’t give our readers what they want on the platform they want, they will go elsewhere and we will cease to be relevant in their lives.” “We simply need to manage our content intelligently across our plat- forms. The Dominion Post still has a future as a newspaper brand.” Greer McDonald Fairfax New Zealand That calls for me as editor to set a new path and be much bolder in my thinking” “ JouRnAliSM ‘will nEvER cHAnGE’ LAST-MINUTE dinners with US presidents and a jaunt on the royal yacht Britannia are a few of the memories for Don Churchill as he leaves the industry after 46 years. The Age publisher and head of Fairfax Media’s Melbourne publishing arm says he remains optimistic for the newspaper industry he loves. “Whether they chop, change and become something different, or there are new technologies around the corner, the business of journal- ism is key, and the business of journalism will never change,” he says. Mr Churchill, who in 2007 led The Age team to PANPA Newspaper of the Year glory, counts the creation of The Dominion Post in his one-time home of Wellington as a career-defining moment. “My greatest regret was having to close the much-loved Evening Post, which I once edited,” he recalls. “Having been editor, and knowing what that paper had achieved in the society, it was probably my greatest regret. But I knew it had to be done. It was a business thing.” Mr Churchill says it’s been a “privilege” to have had roles as a journalist and manager. Journalism was “part of the glue of society, the mirror of community, and a questioner”, he said. “ Those things are so important and there are so many great journalists on our newspapers.” Mr Churchill is toying with the idea of writing a book documenting his media life. The one-time boss of four publishing compa- nies on both sides of the Tasman sees a hitch, however: “Whether it will be published or not is another matter. I’ll have to find a publisher.” Greer McDonald is social media editor for Fairfax New Zealand