I’m a journalist with a leading British national newspaper with more than 10 years’ experience in both news and features. My work has involved writing, editing, producing and commissioning content in daily news as well as culture (books/film/theatre/music) as well as my serious hobby, writing travel features.
When I’m not editing and producing the daily news, I gather views (and offer my own) of how the newspaper industry should best adapt to the digital era. With advertising revenue falling, subscriptions under pressure, and nimble, niche-focused media competition proliferating. it’s do or die for newspapers. So is there a profitable place for the marquee newspaper brands in the new landscape? How much value is there in the trust that has been earned through decades, even centuries, of service to democracy?
My blog investigates the viability of serious journalism delivered in digital formats, and to ask, through coverage of the tech sector and beyond, how journalists can stay relevant in this new landscape. I believe journalists have to co-operate better and change their mindsets to ‘bust the silos’ and work more effectively with our newspaper colleagues who sell the adverts, code the apps, and indeed, manage the people.
As a South African with European roots, I monitor developments in the tech scene in Africa, where stages of technology are being leapfrogged with lightning speed. I also contribute to a start-up video channel that reports on media, technology and broadcasting innovation across the African diaspora. My companion blog has a few examples of my video interviews.
I aim to write new blog posts at least two to three times a week, and during flurries of inspiration they may even be daily.
Regarding the future of newspapers, a quote from the Washington Post’s managing editor Robert Kaiser back in 1992, referring to the metaphor of the frog in a pot of gradually heated water getting boiled alive because it can’t sense the incremental increases in temperature:
“The Post is not in a pot of water, and we’re smarter than the average frog,” Kaiser wrote. “But we do find ourselves swimming in an electronic sea where we could eventually be devoured – or ignored as an unnecessary anachronism. Our goal, obviously, is to avoid getting boiled as the electronic revolution continues.”
I’m hoping newspaper journalists can prove themselves smarter than the average frog.