Is a Head Chef Needed for Making Hamburgers?
The Blogpaper vs Traditional Media
The first issue of the Blogpaper was distributed in London on November 20th 2009 by theblogpaper.co.uk news community. This project is aimed at providing an opportunity for bloggers, photographers and young journalists to reach new audiences. Also, the paper is supposed to give a weekly overview of the most important content submitted by the online community. The Blogpaper intends to develop into a free weekly, but only a beta version has been published up to now, with an ePaper version available at its website. “Instead of a few people controlling the majority of what is being published and therefore read, the blogpaper aims to put the majority in charge” the authors of the idea note. Although the new paper is aimed at a specifically targeted community, it does do some justice to Rupert Murdoch’s claim that “Readers, not owners, determine news”. Today the readers are not only determining the content, but they are as well eager to create it. How is the Blogpaper created? The Blogpaper is a free paper, composed of bloggers’ stories. Anyone can upload their stories and photo to the Blogpaper website, and then readers can determine their favorite stories by discussing and rating them. Those which get the highest ratings are then printed in the paper version. Obviously, life is speeding up rapidly and new technologies enable anyone to make their own thoughts public with just a click of a mouse. Journalists are now working 30% more than they did 10 years ago and 1-2 pages per day is now an average quota for a journalist. A new trend of creating a newspaper within 1 day has become a popular way of entertainment among the new generation of Ukrainian journalists. But in addition to all their efforts they are now facing competition from their own readers. This speed up of information flow creates new challenges for PR professionals also: offering readers, who are becoming the journalist as well, more and more targeted content. But how many of us are willing to barter away exquisite chef’s specialties for fast-food snacks? According to a leading media expert, Piet Bakker, traditional media would not disappear with the spread of social media, same as theatre still exists after the cinema was invented. Highly professional newspapers and magazines, offering analytics and exclusiveness, will never lose their audience. About 70% of readers of printed news editions in Europe read other sources of information simultaneously, including Facebook, Twitter etc. Printed editions are not losing their audience, Dr Bakker says, giving an example of one of the most widely-circulated newspaper in Spain 20 Minutos with 270,000 offline readers daily and only 810 online visitors monthly. The same situation is observed with the Spanish Marca, El Pais and many other popular printed media in the world, which are not likely to lose their print version readers. I’m looking forward to finding the Blogpaper in Kyiv one day. I would also be interested to know what its circulation and target audience would be. Your thoughts on this are welcomed.