Thursday, August 03, 2006

Good morning Coventry!

My local newspaper, the Coventry Evening Telegraph is changing to a morning newspaper in October. This is reported in the excellent Hold The Front Page website (which I recommend to all students of journalism and would-be journalists to check out on a regular basis!).

The Editor, Alan Kirby talks about readers' changing buying habits as the reason behind the change. Apparently it used to be a morning newspaper but switched to 'evening' (actually the lunchtime edition at 11am and 'city final' at 3.30pm) in the 1950s. But I'm less certain that the paper will fare so well when it is in direct competition with the national dailies these days, despite the general shift by newspaper readers from national to local.

A few years ago I was visiting BBC's Coventry and Warwickshire radio station when the news broke that the former Labour Party leader, John Smith had died. Obviously, the radio station was able to broadcast the 'hot' news immediately. But after only half an hour, I stepped out into the streets of the city to find that the Evening Telegraph's lunchtime edition was brought out earlier than normal with the story on its front page. This makes me wonder - if people have already bought an early morning edition (carrying yesterday's news), would the newspaper be able to bring the day's breaking news to its readership? Kirby believes that the newspaper's website will be the best vehicle for the day's breaking news.

I guess he's done his market research but I can't help thinking that this local newspaper is taking a big gamble.

Filed under:
Coventry Telegraph    local newspapers    Hold The Front Page    online news

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