Food • Arts & Culture • Sheffield Life • Branding & Media

There was a radical shift in the course of the history of the British newspapers last Friday. But when I heard about London’s Evening Standard morphing into a free newspaper, there seemed to be little in the way of big fanfares or ‘where were you when…’ sentimental posturings running through the majority of reports and commentary.

Instead, the tone was practical and forward-thinking. The old tried-and-tested newspaper model, which relied on people buying news in hard copy format, was on its last ink-smudged legs. Your crystal ball is as accurate as mine, but I still believe there will be survivors once this cull has run its course, especially amongst local papers who tap into the essentially-human instinct to feel part of a community.

Despite this possible kiss of life, who wouldn’t argue the death of the printed news has been hastened by a new breed of free commuter-friendly papers? But it’s our ever-increasing love affair with the internet which threatens to consign the once mighty bastions of Fleet Street to history.

It’s a prospect I feel torn over. As a devourer of hard copy national and local broadsheets and tabloids, part of me can’t imagine a world without them. Then again, I have to confess I’m as smitten with clicking and sharing news online, as the rest of the country – make that the world – seem to be. Confession: Where did I first get wind of the Evening Standard story? Via an online news alert message, of course. The news is dead, long live the news.com!

Citizen journalism and the rise of blogging has created a world where everyone’s free to make their individual unique ripples vibrate through the great rising wave of online communication. This print-eroding tide is anything but virtual – it’s become ingrained in the beating hearts and real Wi-Fi habits of the nation.

In this ever-changing multi-media world, a good splash will always be a good splash…even if you can’t read all about it in the bath.

Where does that leave me? Well, I’m swimming with the tide. My own ripples began with the creation of this blog. And now, after cataloging a wide range of articles I’ve written over the last 12 years, for a variety of magazines and newspapers, I’m now focusing on posting them online.

Check out the first examples by clicking on the link Published Work. More to follow in future posts.

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Comments on: "Small ripples are the new(s)-splash" (4)

  1. Deborah Egan said:

    Interestingly The Evening Standard for all its Mailesque editorial tendencies has always been a gold standard for daily journalism -contrarily I think its demise is not about on line news but about the proliferation of nasty free tabloids in the capital.

    The very specific role of the ES was always a held in the hand read on the way home – on those interminable London rush hour Tube and bus journeys.

    The Free papers ( and the ES culpably printed a free sister paper ) in the style of the Metro displaced the Standard literally. They continue to be thrust in your hand at every corner littering the capital with unwanted news print.. Personally I mourn for the Standards mixture of gravitas and rank capital gossip and will pull the rope to toll its demise!

  2. I like paper, but reading on the move makes me feel sick! I hope newspapers don’t die out and I don’t think they will. I’ve still yet to see a paperless office and a newspaperless world? I don’t think so. Change yes, demise – not completely…

  3. Yes, I am as torn too. Love print, love web.

    Maybe print is in transition, and will come out the other side leaner and meaner – I did hear only niche publications will survive.

    In the meantime I picked up my first free London Evening Standard on Monday. Very odd that it was free! The best thing in it was Sam Leith – with a super pro-postie column…

  4. cathy gauthier said:

    The one thing I look forward to every Saturday morning is going into town to get my big, fat newspaper at the local restaurant. I sit down with my toast and coffee and read away! I’d be lost without that!

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