Regional editors are set to fight back against the prophecies of doom for the local newspaper industry at the Society of Editors conference opening on Sunday.
They will address a session at the event entitled ‘It ain’t dead and we’re fixing it’, about how new innovation is enabling them to defy predictions of the industry’s demise.
Media commentator Raymond Snoddy will chair the session and editors lined up to speak are Darren Thwaites from Teeside’s Evening Gazette, Joy Yates from the Hartlepool Mail, Derek Tucker from Aberdeen’s Press and Journal and Denzil McDaniel from the Enniskillen-based Impartial Reporter
Gazette editor Darren told HTFP he would be highlighting the outstanding efforts made by journalists in a challenging market.
He said: “For all the regional media doom-mongers out there, the reality is our teams are working smarter than ever before and deserve enormous credit. We continue to deliver great content and attract mass local audiences in print and online.
“Our journalists here in Teesside are as committed as ever, embracing new skills and tackling new challenges with energy and enterprise.
“There’s no complacency – just a determination to continue to be successful in a fast-changing and challenging market.
“Our influence in Teesside is as strong as ever and there’s still a huge appetite for our content. We have a massive local audience and enjoy more engagement and interaction with readers than ever before.”
Other regional journalists taking part include Manchester Evening News editor Maria McGeoghan, who will be on a panel discussing their vision for the media in 2020, and Kent Messenger group political editor Paul Francis, who will address a session on the media and democracy.
The two-day Glasgow conference opens with the Society of Editors Lecture, which will be given by Alexander Lebedev, the owner of the London Evening Standard and Independent. Other speakers include Ellis Watson, the right-hand man of X-Factor boss Simon Cowell.