Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chris Blackhurst at Uclan

Uclan was given a treat last night as City Editor of the London Evening Standard Chris Blackhurst gave a talk to assembled students and lecturers.

It probably couldn't have come at a more opportune time with last week's news of the paper's takeover by an ex Russian KGB officer.

Blackhurst had two themes to his talk.Firstly defending the media against charges that it didn't predict the recession.He described the notion that the media has talked us into recession as "absolutely rubbish ."

It was all the fault of the PR industry," the press went along with the great economic success story but never asked what if "he maintains.

As for as to whether the press are making the situation worse,Blackhurst believes that not to be the case.The press' job is to report what is going on and capture the mood of the nation.

He did though have a few bad words for politicians whom he says have now taken over from journalists as being one of the less trusted professions.

As for the future prospects for the media industry it is he says "in no worse state than any other industries." citing the comparison with retailers who also have no idea how their industry will look in the next 10 years.

Newspapers ,he believes will always have a place.They have many advantages over the net including the ease of use but will have to learn to coexist in the new environment.Whilst the internet has given us a multitude of information,the best writing on their is still written by journalists.

As for the economic model it is no doubt broken."The classified ads market is finished but there are many products that are still suited to the newspaper model." he says

And one day it may be that all papers become free.There is nothing wrong with that but the model needs to change."Free newspapers should not be dismissed,there is a gap in the market for a free quality journalism paper ."


Adam McClean said...

Good post Nigel, followed your tweets from the back of the lecture on my iPhone, as you do. Very interesting lecture.

Nigel Barlow said...

Yes Adam,

I was sitting right at the front under the lectern.I think he sussed out that I was twittering him