Local Paper Presentation

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  • 1. The Local and Regional Newspaper industry Q Why should we study something as small and insignificant as local and regional papers? A They are read by nearly everyone, are highly influential and make millions of pounds a year!
  • 2. The Local and Regional Newspaper industry The regional press   is the backbone of Britain's media, read by the vast majority of adults every week and considered to be the most trusted responsible medium of all.
  • 3. There are 1,300 regional and local newspapers in the UK • 27 mornings (19 paid-for and 8 free) • 75 evenings (like the Shropshire Star) • 21 Sundays • 531 paid-for weeklies (like the Whitchurch Herald and the North Shropshire Chronicle) • 645 free weekly newspapers
  • 4. Not just papers… The regional press has diversified and owns: • over 600 stand-alone magazines and niche publications • over 800 websites • 28 radio stations • two television stations
  • 5. The magic figure 84%
  • 6. Readership (figures 2005-March 2006) • 83.7% of all adults read a regional newspaper • 83.7% of men read a regional newspaper • 83.7% of all women read a regional newspaper
  • 7. Coverage of all age groups is very high with a slight bias towards the older, more affluent (wealthier) age groups (figures 2005-March 2006) • 77.4% 15 – 24 • 82.5% 25 – 34 • 83.3% 35 - 44 • 85.5% 45 - 54 • 86.5% 55 - 64
  • 8. Coverage of all social class groups is also very high mainly because the profiles of regional and local newspapers readers tend to reflect the profiles of the areas they cover (figures 2005-March 2006) • 83.4% AB (Professional, business and white collar) • 84.7% C1 (Skilled non-manual workers) • 84.4% C2 (Skilled manual workers) • 82.3% DE (‘Semi-skilled’ and ‘Un–skilled’ manual workers)
  • 9. The overall regional coverage also remains very high (figures 2005-March 2006) • 78.8% London • 85.1% South • 86.7% East • 88.2% South West • 75.4% Wales & the West • 84.1% Midlands • 88.6% North West • 84.5% Yorkshire • 80.6% North East • 90.2% Central Scotland • 90.8% Northeast Scotland • 87.2% Border
  • 10. The magic figure 84%
  • 11. A nation of newspaper readers • British people are among the most avid newspaper readers in the world. • 83.7% of all British adults (40 million people) read a regional newspaper, • only 66% read a national newspaper.
  • 12. A growth industry? • Since 2000, regional press coverage grown by 1,087,000 readers • Readership of weekly paid-for titles alone grew by 17% since 1994
  • 13. On the other hand… are National papers a shrinking market? • national press coverage fell by 4.3% (that’s a loss of nearly 1½ million readers)
  • 14. Only a local? • The Regional press has a high solus readership • 26.7% of those who read a regional newspaper do not read a national daily
  • 15. Advertising • With this level of readership it is easy to see why the demand for advertising space on regional press/websites is growing • The Regional press was the second-largest medium in 2005, accounting for 18.6% of all advertising revenue.
  • 16. Advertising goldmine? • Although regional newspaper had increased for the 13 years leading to 2004. Last year saw the first decline in 14 years – but regional press online jobs advertising has grown 26.9% in the last year! • TV accounts for only 7% more revenue than regional press, with national press’ share another seven percentage points lower.
  • 17. Loadsa money? National Internet, 8.5% Press, 11.9% Magazines, Regional 11.7% Press, 18.6% Cinema, 1.2% Radio, 3.2% Directories, 7.0% Outdoor, 6.5% TV, 25.4% Direct Mail, 6.0%
  • 18. Loadsa money? Note there’s been a dip over the last 2 years – why? 3,500 2,986 3,027 2,834 3,000 3,165 2,483 2,894 2,762 2,500 2,238 £m 1,963 2,390 2,000 2,061 1,500 1,000 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
  • 19. Still going strong? • In 2004 the regional press showed a growth of 5.8% over the previous year • Revenue exceeded £3 billion for the first time (£3,132m). • Regional press readership is growing as new audiences are being reached through expanding portfolios of print and online platforms.
  • 20. Beating the competition… • In 2004 the total spend in the regional press was nearly six times the total spend on radio, and just a little less than the combined total for direct mail, outdoor (posters etc), radio, internet and cinema. • At that time the Regional press was the only medium to have increased ad spend every year for the last twelve years
  • 21. The Shift to Local • Life is local: three-quarters of the UK workforce work within 10 miles of home, 40% within two miles. • Media can be said to be moving from global to local, mass marketing to one-to-one marketing. This trend favours regional newspapers which can deliver target audiences cost-effectively. Regional newspapers are still the most important source of local news • Local newspaper journalists tend to live close to the areas they write about
  • 22. Ownership But how local are these papers? • The top 20 publishers now own 89% of all regional and local newspaper titles in the UK, and 95% of the total weekly circulation. • There are 86 regional newspaper publishers, but only 40 own just one title. • Over £6.8 billion has been spent on regional press acquisitions and mergers since October 1995 (creating large ownership groups) WHY?
  • 23. Locals fight back • Local newspapers have to fight hard for their market share against the nationals. • Many are now weekly and belong to one of the big newspaper groups (eg the Whitchurch Herald which is owned by the biggest group, Trinity Mirror). This means you often see a house style across many different newspapers and journalists/photographers contribute stories across several regions. • Lots of material may be syndicated, eg car supplements. • However, most local newspapers try to keep a local identity because they know that’s what the audience wants. Some mimic the layout of national tabloids to attract audiences if that’s appropriate for their target audience (others look more like broadsheets and which have similar content, albeit with a local slant– eg the Oxford Times - which appeals to an A/B/C1 audience).
  • 24. New ways of attracting audiences New platforms are proving increasingly popular with regional press consumers: • Websites, podcasts, mobile phones and e- editions allow people to access news and entertainment on the move - over 90% of the industry now has an online presence • Blogging enables readers to get directly involved with their newspaper. • Video streaming is used by an increasing number of publishers, to provide news, sport and local information.
  • 25. Case Study – Shropshire Star
  • 26. The Shropshire Star • Owned by the Midland News Association - 8th in the league – they own a portfolio of newspapers which are concentrated in the Midlands area • Express & Star Ltd Express & Star Cannock Chase Chronicle Dudley Chronicle Great Barr & Erdington Chronicle Halesowen Chronicle Kidderminster Chronicle Sandwell Chronicle Stafford Chronicle Stourbridge Chronicle Walsall Chronicle Wolverhampton Chronicle • Shropshire Newspapers Ltd Shropshire Star Bridgnorth Journal Hereford & Leominster Journal Ludlow Journal Newport & Market Drayton Advertiser Shrewsbury Chronicle Telford Journal
  • 27. First new post war evening newspaper • The first edition of the Shropshire Star was published on October 5 1964 and was at the forefront of new technology from the beginning.
  • 28. • It was the first new evening newspaper launched in the post-war years and led the way in using cutting-edge printing technology which gave better picture and print quality than before. It was years before Fleet Street, caught up – it was like a virtual museum of hot metal printing (individual pieces of type placed into presses then printed straight onto the paper so was very slow and expensive) and restrictive practices.
  • 29. Rapid circulation growth • The company published the first edition as an offshoot of the West Midlands Express and Star but the SS quickly established itself as a separate newspaper with its own Shropshire identity. • It had inherited a nightly circulation of around 19,000 from the old Shropshire edition of the Express & Star, but the new SS saw an huge sales growth. • By the mid-1980s sales were pushing the 100,000 mark, and the paper had expanded from an initial two editions, to eight
  • 30. New printing technology • From its earliest days, the Shropshire Star has been a testbed of groundbreaking new technology. • They started to use photocomposition and the new web offset printing method, in which the image is not printed directly onto the roll of paper (the web), but is transferred first onto a rubber roller (i.e. it is offset) and then on to the paper. Fleet Street looked on with interest. It was thought web offset was not suitable for the huge printing runs of national newspapers. Now they all do it!
  • 31. Colour • Shropshire Star was also a pioneer of colour, and front page colour was an early selling point. • The first time it was used was on January 30, 1965, with a photo of Sir Winston Churchill on the day of his funeral. • In March 1967, the paper was the first in Britain to publish a colour photograph on the day it was actually taken – when the Queen made a visit to Shropshire.
  • 32. Computer revolution – production methods • In the 1980s, the Shropshire Star and its Wolverhampton sister paper were at the front of another newspaper revolution - the computer revolution. • Together they moved from old-fashioned ‘double keying’ (which involved the use of one set of staff to set type which had already been typed once by journalists), to single keying, which cut out an entire production process and effectively turned journalists into printers. This advance heralded the age of hi-tech computerised newspapers
  • 33. Online • The Shropshire Star was also at the front of the Internet revolution, launching its first site, shropshire- online.com in 1998. • In 1999 the newspaper appointed its first Internet Editor, who was given the task of developing the site, to be renamed ShropshireStar.com and soon turned it into an integral part of the Shropshire Star's publishing strategy. • In 2003 another version of Shropshirestar.com was launched and it changed again in 2006 http://www.shropshirestar.co.uk/
  • 34. More papers get into the homes of the potential readership than for any other regional paper • Nearly 250,000 adult readers read the SS each night, and it enjoys the highest penetration rate in the British regional press, with over 82 per cent of all Shropshire Stars published being home delivered. • The website pulls in an impressive one million page views a month.
  • 35. Sponsors local events • It doesn’t just report the goings on in the local community - it gets involved too, through sponsorship, support for various charity appeals (most recently the Rainbow Appeal which seeks to build a cancer treatment unit for children in Shrewsbury), and work with schools through education initiatives. WHY?
  • 36. Employers • The SS employs around 400 people • It has offices in Telford, Shrewsbury, Newtown, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Ludlow, Oswestry and Bridgnorth. • Most people live in the area they write about • The Shropshire Star was recently edited by the first woman to edit the paper.
  • 37. Radio Stations • Shropshire Star (part of Midland News Association) owns and operates three commercial radio stations
  • 38. Who reads the Shropshire Star?
  • 39. Total readerships by geographical area This comes from http://jiab.jicreg.co.uk/StandardReports/ where you can click on the links down the left hand column to find out what local newspaper competition there is in each town
  • 40. Shropshire Star’s Success – based on its relationship with the community/audience? Regional Edition: North Edition dated: 20th February 2007 1. High proportion of local news - therefore a high level of ‘meaningfulness’ - but with enough national/international news to keep a high ‘solus’ readership (people who ONLY buy the Shropshire Star)
  • 41. 2. Editionising to keep even more local focus (Editions for North Shropshire; South Shropshire; Oswestry; Shrewsbury; Welsh border and Bridgnorth)
  • 42. 3. Feeling of independence is promoted – it’s pro-community rather than pro-any particular political party (eg Wem Town Hall and swimming baths stories in the past)
  • 43. • Good value : • 56-72 pages - often 9 stories on the front page;17 stories per page; avg. 34 minutes spent reading it • variety of content • delivery mechanism – £2.10 ?? a week for 6 editions inc delivery anywhere – even in outlying rural areas - with network of own vans and delivery boys/girls)
  • 44. 5. Mode of address is friendly and direct, eg ‘Your Star’; ‘call us’; ‘Try your luck…’; ‘we’re here to help’; ‘All your weekly viewing listings’; ‘Our Pete…’.
  • 45. • Fairly simple syntax and vocabulary, written in short sentences, yet quite copy heavy and detailed at times • some use of puns and alliteration in headlines eg ‘ Weight for it’, ‘Fun with Flies’, ‘Corking Price for Vintage Opener’; ‘Deer oh deer’; ‘Villagers kick up a stink over vile smell’.
  • 46. 6. Supplements for different sections of audience – eg women, cars, home, jobs, business, weekend, weddings, schools, special events
  • 47. 7. Voice of the reader - Local letters; classifieds and announcements; a high proportion of the stories come from the readership unlike other news providers – eg coffee morning; ‘Flower group hold meeting’; ‘Hall in appeal for Volunteers’; ‘Indie band in bassist appeal’;
  • 48. • The community is represented positively (whether rural village life or the bigger towns like Shrewsbury or Telford. The good self image encourages sales. Positive values represented include: • being caring (of people and environment) and charitable- eg ‘kind- hearted village’; ‘Tree planting idea to remember Bryan’; ‘get involved in community’; ‘range to help with walking difficulties’
  • 49. • promoting pleasant environment eg ‘clean up plea’; ‘bin to help in litter battle’ ‘Villages urged to join battle for top prize’; ‘Councillor highlights loss of trees’; ‘Town anger as thief digs up Queen’s shrub’ • pro animal – ‘Two rutting stags spark rescue bid’; ‘Log on to look at pet-cam’ ; ‘Fresh appeal over dead pet’
  • 50. • child-centred – child’s play supplement; fire safety in schools; school fundraising events; ‘invite to join children’s club’; ‘boarding school pupils to get classes in happiness’; ‘Royal honour for children’
  • 51. • harking to the past – nostalgia photo every day; ‘vintage Morris back on road’; ’40 years since film won Oscars’
  • 52. •lively social life – eg ‘band at community centre’; ‘Concert to rock against racism’; ‘Rockers joining festival line-up’; cult show for summer; youngsters in park fun; coffee mornings; ‘choir in concert for appeal fund’
  • 53. 9. Service to the Community eg ads; listings; public service details (council tips; chemists, planning applications etc). In the past they have helped fund community services eg the school mini bus competition
  • 54. 10. Competitions and offers (eg Win a Dream Wedding)
  • 55. 11. Range of methods to get the Shropshire Star: • print; • online - as website; emailed or as e-edition (£1.50 a copy); • mobile?