AddThis SmartLayers

Editor asks city daily’s readers to help pick new campaign

DavidPowlesA regional daily editor has called on readers to help choose his newspaper’s next campaign.

David Powles, left, has issued the appeal in the Norwich Evening News, in which he says it’s time for the paper to “get behind a new cause”.

In an editorial published on Saturday, David cited past campaigns including its Friend in Need initiative, which called on readers to spend time with lonely or vulnerable people.

The Evening News and sister paper the Eastern Daily Press are also running an ongoing Mental Health Watch campaign, which aims to increase awareness and get better mental health provision in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Wrote David: “There are numerous reasons why I believe the local press still matters to a community and its people. Which is handy, you might say, given I’m the editor of this newspaper.

“When a community has something to celebrate, such as Norwich City’s forthcoming promotion (we hope), local media also plays an important role in helping to add to the sense of occasion, as well as providing something by which to remember that moment for years to come.

“But perhaps the biggest impact that we can make is in the campaigns we choose – and it is often those causes that make journalists feel proudest about the sector they have chosen to work in.”

He went on to add that several years ago the Evening News raised thousands of pounds so that teddy bears could go in ambulances and be handed to children if they, or their parents, needed treatment.

Urging readers to contact him, David continued: “The reason why I’m talking about this is because the time has come for the Evening News to get behind a new cause – and I’d like your help in deciding what that should be.

“Do you know of something that is worthy of further coverage? Is there an appeal, cause or idea that other readers might be prepared to rally behind? If the answer to those questions is yes then please do drop me a line.”

11 comments

You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • August 23, 2016 at 6:54 am
    Permalink

    So he’s looking for a cause for the sake of it then, the same editor who asked people what they wanted in the paper when he got handed the role and which resulted in the paper going free one day a week.
    With such a pitiful number of copies sold it doesn’t represent the city and has lost its audience so it’s all all rather pointless, especially with having just put the cover price up again meaning even fewer people will buy it in future

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(21)
  • August 23, 2016 at 7:02 am
    Permalink

    Another desperate plea by the editor to get the paper noticed in a city that’s not interested as the constant copy sale losses and lack of advertisers shows.

    With the photographers gone,hardly any paid for copies sold and so much of it ‘reader’ supplied I’m surprised they need an editor at all especially when all costs are being looked at and savings being urged to be made.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(8)
  • August 23, 2016 at 7:40 am
    Permalink

    With just over 10,000 copies sold in a city of 132,000 people,not counting the other areas where its on sale, the editor should be more concenred and focussed on growing the audience rather than looking for something to hang their hat on.
    Campaigns in the east have always risen to the surface and been apparentt,if they`re having to look for one in a thinly disguised move to increase copy sales,and presumably havent been approached,that says it all about how credible the norwich evening paper is anymore.
    i als

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)
  • August 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm
    Permalink

    As others have said, with few remaining readers, who exactly is going to come forward with any ideas? And, if they do, the paper will simply end up catering to the needs of the already converted rather than reaching out to new audiences and communities.

    In the same way that their offer to let random readers write columns in exchange for cinema tickets has led to a string of PR professionals preaching into an echo chamber, this will simply result in the same old faces churning out their vested interests to satisfy the paper’s never ending hunger for content, any content.

    I fear Mr Powles is living in the past when small papers like his still had clout. The truth is, even people whose jobs involve monitoring the media struggle to take much interest in the Evening News nowadays.

    This is a familiar tactic from the days of the Archant Investigation Unit: instead of finding stories and issues, manufacturing them. It’s all a bit lazy.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(8)
  • August 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm
    Permalink

    To be fair, he’s not responsible for the current state of affairs at the Evening News. That’s down to 20-plus years of poor management.
    And the game has changed. He’s obviously got to come up with ideas to give the out-of-touch bosses at Archant some hope that they have the right man,
    Who wouldn’t be doing the same in his position?
    Like it or not.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(8)
  • August 23, 2016 at 2:34 pm
    Permalink

    The Evening News can barely muster enough reporters to actually report. How are they going to cope if there is a staffman or team dedicated to sustaining the campaign with all that that entails.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(5)
  • August 23, 2016 at 4:07 pm
    Permalink

    I thought the same nfk n good
    It’s an easy route that’s been taken by the investigations unit in the past, looking for things that aren’t there
    As has already been mentioned they’ve lost the norwich readership and struggle to find adverts for it unless they’re flogged off cheap and no amount of pleading will people to show interest in it will change things, time to accept the situation and make this paper a free, online only or close.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(3)
  • August 23, 2016 at 4:42 pm
    Permalink

    My local morning paper sells 12,000 a day roughly in an area of just under 2 million souls (in fairness it once sold 100,000 but that was long before the journocide era). exactly what impact are papers of this unpopularity likely to have, despite the heroic efforts of the over-worked staff which I greatly admire. Mild reaction rather revolution springs to mind.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(3)
  • August 23, 2016 at 4:55 pm
    Permalink

    I’m confused.

    Are you all saying that Mr Powles should just give up and go home, shouldn’t be interested in what his readers care about, and hat Archant should just shut a title that sells around ten thousand copies, six days a week?

    please clarify because for a minute there I was confusing you lot with bitter, sad, clueless armchair warriors with nothing better to do that pour bile all over a journalist doing what editors have always done – try to produce a vigorous and relevant newspaper.

    Please tell me I’m wrong!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)
  • August 23, 2016 at 5:11 pm
    Permalink

    I can’t speak for everybody else, Confused, but that’s certainly not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that it will take more than desperate and increasingly frequent calls for readers’ ideas. The “free” columns for PRs initiative is the clearest sign possible that this does not work. What you get isn’t readers ideas but people seizing an opportunity to push their own agendas upon you/promote their own interests.

    This is an empty gesture to be seen to be engaging with readers but not actually doing much about it. Knocking out a few words and sticking them in the paper is a lot easier than getting out in the community, taking time to get to know key figures, not just to produce easy copy but to develop a deep understanding of what makes them tick which in time pays far greater dividends.

    Shut a title that sells 10,000, six days a week? Certainly not. Recruit, retain and motivate quality journalists and give them the time, support and tools to do a quality job? Now that would be an idea.

    This smacks of a last resort and short-termism. And if you think the Evening News is vigorous and relevant, you’re clearly not reading it.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(9)
  • August 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm
    Permalink

    Confused
    The evening news hasn’t been a ” vigorous relevant newspaper’ for many years as you well know, selling just 10,000 copies a day must cost more to produce than it takes so to ask around for a cause to support highlights how out of touch and unaware of what the big issues are.
    Good journalists will know, they’ll have contacts,the hot issues will be apparent,a journalist will know, they’ll find out, as has been said asking around is the height of laziness.

    You will also know he asked what he should do when he took this role,what was the response?
    Lack of interest from the public, no real quality feedback and a pre determined ? decision to close one free city paper and replace it with another once a week free paper,irrespective of any feedback and which to all intents and purposes is the Norwich advertiser with a different name ( launching sounds better than having to announce the closure a long standing paper so I understand why this covert closure / launch method was chosen)
    And if the editor had outlined his plans for the paper st the start rather than ask less than ask the 10% of the city potential who buy a copy what they should do it doesn’t say much for the forward planning or future aims for this dire paper.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(5)