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Society president delivers upbeat message

Newspaper Society president David Fordham has delieverd an upbeat message on the state of the industry in the organisation’s annual report published yesterday.

The Iliffe News and Media chief said the local press had “confounded the doom mongers” and was set to bounce back.

Mr Fordham, who is completing a 12-week tour of more than 40 UK newspaper centres, said investment in new technological developments was helping local newspapers reach more people than ever.

After chairing yesterday’s annual general meeting of the organisation, he is due to hand over the NS presidency to Georgina Harvey, managing director of Trinity Mirror Regionals, on 1 July.

Mr Fordham wrote: “Britain’s local media has confounded the doom-mongers and is emerging from the worst advertising recession in living memory with cautious optimism for the future.

“The undoubted difficulties of the past two years have served to remind politicians and the public that local papers are loved and valued as the bedrock of local democracy.

“Despite the severity of the ad revenue declines which hit all media sectors globally, the picture has improved markedly in the past six months.

“As someone who has worked in this industry for nearly 40 years, I am personally very positive about its long-term future success.

“The fact is that local media is reaching bigger audiences than ever before, no other provider can match it for valued and trusted local news and information, and its power and effectiveness as an advertising medium is growing.

“The new mood of confidence is illustrated by a string of newspaper launches since the start of the year.

“I have also been encouraged by the innovation and creativity in evidence during my recent tour of UK regional newspaper centres for Local Newspaper Week.

“The investment by local newspaper companies into new platforms, ultra local publications, converged multimedia newsrooms, video journalism, UGC, smart phone apps and other digital and print innovations means that local newspapers are now reaching more people as well as attracting new online advertising revenues.”


Oldhackandproud (14/05/2010 09:16:51)
A shame that he didn’t bother to come into the editorial department when he visited our paper recently. He may have discovered how upbeat the few of us are..! But he was busy having lunch with the directors, so quite understandable, really.

Johnston Press Fan Club (14/05/2010 10:04:00)
The words “head” and “sand” come to mind. Dear, of dear. Unfortunately an ‘expert’ like this will have more chance of gaining the ear of the directors in the champagne bar. Tell em what they want to hear eh?

Cynic (14/05/2010 13:07:34)
I thought every newspaper group in the country was laying people off, while sales of nearly every paper were declining. I don’t quite see how that is the industry confounding the doom mongers.

Lurker (14/05/2010 13:43:46)
He obviously doesn’t read this column, or possibly any other.

Chris Youett (17/05/2010 09:58:55)
Mr Fordham should have had private meetings with all the editors at these 40 centres. Most of them would quickly have told him how dire these “multi-media platforms” really are, how many sales of printed copies they are taking away, did he know of anyone who had got Atex to work, how low wages were the root cause of NUJ discontent, etc, etc.

Former hack off for a cup of tea (19/05/2010 14:26:39)
I totally agree with all of the comments listed above. It also seems pointless the NCTJ launching a new diploma qualification to try and entice new trainees into journalism, when the simple matter is this.There are no jobs for trainees to apply for anymore.