Henry argued there was now less emphasis on hard news with a move away from what he termed “shouty red-top journalism.”
David Higgerson, digital publishing director at Trinity Mirror Regionals, and Jeff Henry, chief executive at Archant, were also interviewed for the piece, which was sponsored by content marketing agency Outbrain.
Discussing the changing face of newspaper content, Henry said: “It’s less about shock and horror on the front page.
“My sense from talking to editors is that there is a shift away from car crash content. People seem more receptive to a slightly gentler approach than shouty red-top journalism.”
In the same piece, Henry also argued that more journalists’ content has “never been read more than it is today.”
“One thing people often gloss over when talking about the regional press now is that we are commanding huge and very loyal online audiences. We have some markets, such as York, where 75% of the population visits our website at least once a week,” he said.
Commenting on the content in Archant publications, Jeff said: “Successful features on a lot of the online platforms are the evergreen pieces of content – great walks in Norfolk or great places to eat, for example.
“These generate a lot of ongoing interest and are relevant for people in our areas.”
David said that “popular” non-news content was helping to boost brand awareness for his company’s titles.
He said: “The serious journalism is as important as ever but we are much more likely to be successful in maintaining that if we’re reaching an audience, and we are much more likely to reach an audience if we are part of people’s everyday lives beyond just news.”