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‘Local press shouldn’t view BBC as online competitor’ says digital chief

laura-adamsA regional editorial chief says local newspapers should not view broadcasters as digital competitors.

Laura Adams, left, digital editorial director at Archant London, spoke at the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ Journalism Skills Conference in Portsmouth this morning.

Laura chaired a panel discussion on the future of journalism at the conference.

She was asked by a member of the audience how local newspapers could stay relevant and compete with the likes of the BBC.

Laura responded: “Local journalism has its own place. We wouldn’t see a broadcaster as a competitor because our USP is local.

“We can make things the BBC might not be able to get hold of.”

She said she consumes news on tablet, mobile, in newspapers and through magazines, adding: “That’s what we need to get into and not to see online as competing with everyone else.”

The panel also discussed what could be done to aid journalists’ skills throughout their careers.

Laura said: “You can never really predict who’s going to respond and in what way to change in development or work. I’ve seen people who have been there for years and years be the most open-minded.”

“Time is really importtant. People need time to develop and time to evolve. That’s something that editors really need to be conscious of.

“People need time to develop their own skills and test and give themselves confidence. We have to make sure we’ve got the best systems ot the easiest systems.

“Sometimes it’s fear that stops people taking the next step.”


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  • November 26, 2016 at 9:35 am

    “We wouldn’t see a broadcaster as a competitor because our USP is local”
    Another example of complacency and arrogance by
    Think she’s missed the point that BBC local stations USP too is local, the difference being that they are better equipped and proficient in using the medium to better effect than traditional print companies who are way behind in the race and desperate to catch up but can’t compete.
    Had they invested ,maintained and developed their real USP: ‘community hyper local news gathering and publishing’, they would have still had a credible portfolio of printed products to sell and not the weak offering they have ended up with.
    The BBC aren’t competitors to a source that can’t compete.

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  • November 28, 2016 at 9:35 am

    If the companies that own local newspapers papers (we all know who they are) want to run their business model making most of their staff redundant and hoping the public supply the pictures, and now possibly the copy as well, don’t start having a pop the BBC, they thankfully don’t want to be dragged down to the depths of the penny pinching, short sighted bosses that run them. Thanks goodness we have the BBC, otherwise we would be up the creek.

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  • November 28, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Don’t worry, we’re going to be the best local media company in the UK in just over a month…remember?

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  • November 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    They need to give her a lesson in the company’s portfolio as “…news on tablet, mobile, in newspapers and through magazines, adding: “That’s what we need to get into”
    Errr that’s exactly what your company offers albeit watered down versions aiming for the jack of all trades approach rather than focussing on being what they were ,masters of one.
    Yes papers should view competitors as potential threats as alternate and competitor publishers are steaming readers and advertisers by focusing in on the basics and doing them well
    With regards to people being given time to develop and evolve, tell that to the journos issued with smart phones and told to produce ‘content’ of good enough quality to be uploaded and used on multi platforms followers by a veiled ‘ or else’ thrown in for good measure.

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  • November 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I think Laura has a point re ‘local’. In London there is one BBC local station for the whole city – BBC London, and at least 50-60 local papers and magazines. The same is true in Devon and probably other large counties. Half of their content comes from Radio 5 Live.

    The BBC will never cover genuine local news in the way a proper local paper does. I just hope that as newspaper companies are cutting staff left, right and centre clearly doesn’t help they keep that grass roots localism in mind and don’t make their content too generic.

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  • November 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

    “Something editors need to be conscious of…”
    Didn’t Archant just make all its editors redundant?

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