Marlborough Express should have tried doing their bloody job!

The Marlborough Express is having a crisis of confidence at the moment.

The Marlborough Express has warned that it can?t go on as a daily paper forever and it is considering new ideas, including reporting sponsored by readers and printing on fewer days of the week. Could other local papers with sagging sales?go the same way?

The Blenheim-based daily paper has launched a project it calls Express of the Future to “rethink the way we fund local news and sustain the future of local journalism in this region.”

“Digital audiences are growing rapidly and people are slowly moving away from print and advertising revenues are declining,”?Fairfax Media’s Marlborough editor Nicola Coburn wrote.

“At some point in the future, we will not be able to sustain a daily newspaper. The time has come to change,” she warned.

The staff, local businesses, advertisers and readers are all being asked for their ideas.

Nicola Coburn has even invited readers drop in for a chat in the mornings. If they’re shy, they can put a sticky note suggestion on a wall set aside for the purpose.

The editor?s article also said: “We have a strong initial plan.” So how much influence will the local readers and advertisers really have in this process of rethinking the provision of local news?

Mediawatch’s request for an interview was moved up the chain to Fairfax?s senior editor in the South Island, Joanna Norris, who is also editor of Christchurch’s daily The Press.

Joanna Norris said rumours about closing the Express have been circulating after Fairfax Media conducted some audience research in the are recently – but they’re false.?

“We are committed to Marlborough and the Express and we are also looking at new things to try,” Joanna Norris toldMediawatch.

“We think a pared-back portfolio that addresses what people read in modern ways is what will work.”

Does that mean the Express’s days as a daily are numbered?

“A reduction in the number of publishing days is a likely scenario,” Joanna Norris told Mediawatch and it could happen in 2017.

Here’s a thought, the MEX could do their bloody job.

Instead, they are toadies and sycophants to the Council and the theatre…their number one and number three advertisers. In ignoring valid stories or preferring to suppress bad news and become cheerleaders for the ratbag council and theatre they have lost the trust of their readers.

They were given the same audio recordings I was, plus several others. They were given inside information on the dodgy theatre and the positions of several dodgy councillors. They remained silent. Little wonder?then that their readership is less than mine before morning tea on any given day.

The most recent circulation figures show The Marlborough Express now shifts less than 6000 copies on average each day. A year ago it was 6500 and other local papers with a circulation of less than 25,000 have recorded falls of between 3 and 16 percent in the year to June.

By contrast, the audience reading news online is growing.

Especially the online audience reading my site. I tell it how it is, and readers like that.

Here’s an idea for the MEX, they could hire me for a week and I’ll tell them how to solve their problems. I suspect the medicine may be too bitter for them though.

 

– Radio NZ

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