Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Future - Newspapers or Blogs?

In my new job at the Jerusalem Post I am often asked by customers why they should buy a newspaper when they can read the same for free on the internet. I still feel there is nothing like being able to read a good newspaper while having a cup of coffee or travelling on the bus or train and so I believe there is a good reason to buy newspapers. However, as a blogger I am sure you would expect that I also like reading blogs from people of all different perspectives.

With the lack of news in England over the summer, debate has been turning as to the future of news reporting, and whether it will be through newspapers or blogs. This week there was a disagreement between The Financial Times and who I believe to be the leader of political blogging in the UK, Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home, who here defended the future of blogs.

I am also pleased to see that in recent months two of my friends from UJS in my university campaigning days have joined the blogging community, Danny Stone and Luciana Berger. Sadly these two have not seen the light and are still supporters of left-wing causes and the Labour Party. I also think they are suffering from too much sun (or maybe rain) this summer and still don't want to see any change to a health system which is not the best in the world, despite billions being spent on it under a failing Labour Government.

In Israel, politics has also been only a little quieter over the summer, but things are starting to build up for what I think will be a very busy autumn, which will dominate not only Israeli politics but world politics.

Firstly, the Israeli Government is increasing it's pressure on Prime Minister Netenyahu not to give into American pressure on the right for Israeli's to settly in Jerusalem and its towns in the West Bank. (This is interesting in itself in that the Prime Minister is unable to dominate Israel's policy but has to reach a political consensus.)

The big question though will be Iran and if it will agree to at least negotiate with the west to stop its nuclear programme or carry on with its development of a nuclear bomb (with a lack of pressure from President Obama) so that by early 2010, according to President Shimon Peres, it will be able to cause another Holocaust.

So we will be having a busy autumn, which will be well reported in both newspapers and on the blogs.


Don't Call Me Dave said...


I think the market is big enough for both dead tree newspapers and blogs to co-exist.

The priority for newspapers is to report the news, whereas bloggers tend merely to comment on it. Of course there is some overlap. It was Guido Fawkes who broke the story on his blog about Damien McBride - which was then picked up by the mainstream media. And, of course, there are many blogs which cater for niche markets, e.g. reporting on the activities of local councils, where bloggers have become citizen journalists.

But the majority of the most popular politically based blogs are providing commentary only, and they do so in a way which national newspapers cannot. Bloggers can discuss a particular news item for days on end in intricate detail. It is not uncommon for Guido to publish an article and have over 1,000 comments posted in response.

Most national newspapers do have their own web sites but, for the most part, they are rubbish because they are slow and full of adverts. Rupert Murdoch recently announced that he was going to introduce a charge for his on-line papers and the rumour is that he will start with the Sunday Times. If his plan works, then other papers will follow suit and this will provide clear blue water between traditional newspapers and blogs which will most likely remain free in perpetuity.

With advances in technology, there will certainly be an increase in the number of people who download newspapers to hand held devices, but I think it will be many years before the traditional printed paper meets its end.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Contradicting the above(!), this article appeared in the Sunday Times yesterday about the demise of printed nespapers in America.

Danny Stone said...

Errr, Richard. Thanks for the link and nice mention. Alas, you have it all wrong.

I never said no change to the health service. I was making a moral point, hopefully people will read my blof and see that I am right, you have not quite got it so -

hope youre well

Danny Stone

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