Thursday, 11 February 2010
Signs of recovery for the British media industry detected by Press Gazette Editor
2009 was "the worst year in the history of the British media industry." Up to 2,000 jobs had been lost in the recession, when advertising revenues fell. Earlier this month, The Manchester Evening News was sold for £7m, when only a few years ago it was making £30m a year.
But the worst may be over, Ponsford said. New news services are emerging and need staff to produce them. The old guard has been sacked, and new journalists with new media skills are in demand, although they have to be flexible and "may need to do a bit of ducking and diving before landing that staff job".
As evidence for a revivial of the UK media industry, he pointed to start-ups in online news, such as the TheBusinessDesk.com which employs 10 journalists, and start-ups in print media, such the Cleethorpes Chronicle newspaper, with a circulation of 11,000.
He also encouraged students to be persistent if they had a dream job, pointing to his partner's success in travel writing, which materialised after years of determination.
Mr Ponsford also gave some tips for journalists on their first work placement, from which I offer my own top seven:
1. Be punctual
2. Keep organised, dated notebooks and archive them for at least two years
3. Keep a good diary of upcoming events so you can suggest stories in advance
4. Set up RSS feeds or use Google Reader to stay on top of the news daily
5. Keep your sources confidential and if they want to talk "off the record" clarify what they mean
6. Start a niche blog in a subject you are interested in, and publicise it
7. Keep it simple.