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Making a difference by Peter Sands

The ability to shine a light into dark corners and to fight the good fight is something the regional press has and the search and social media behemoths threatening their very existence don’t. But, in an age of cut-backs, does the local press still have the campaigning zeal? Peter Sands reports.

Posted on: 03 February 2017

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2017 - what will be the digital challenges? by Martin Belam

News providers face some big decisions in 2017. To what extent do they follow the emerging new tech trends and, in light of contracting advertising revenues, which of their existing outputs will they have to chop? Martin Belam looks at the digital opportunities and threats ahead.

Posted on: 27 November 2016

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January = skiing royals; October = Strictly by Liz Gerard

What would editors do without these and other hardy perennials? Liz Gerard looks at some of the nationals’ editorial short-cuts.

Posted on: 27 November 2016

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Key landmarks to look out for on your digital exploration by Peter Houston

Digital transition – two innocuous sounding words that imply neatly defined start and end points with a nice straight line between them. If only! Peter Houston looks at different areas of publishing strategy and outlines some of the digital challenges and choices publishers face in each.

Posted on: 27 November 2016

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Making time for creativity by Robyn Bechelet

Last issue, Peter Preston persuasively pointed out that productivity alone isn’t enough in today’s world of content creation. “A newsroom ruled by the clicks regime will never do something different,” he says. Robyn Bechelet considers the challenge he lays out in finding ‘creative room to breathe’ during the digital revolution.

Posted on: 27 November 2016

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Media Quotes of the Year by Jon Slattery

It was the media year in which the first UK national newspaper abandoned print to go digital only. There were continuing cutbacks, launches, leaks, digital disruption, Boris and Brexit. Here, Jon Slattery picks his best media quotes of the year.

Posted on: 27 November 2016

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Hold onto your seats by Dickon Ross

Digital disruption. We’ve been talking about it and living through its consequences for two decades or more, but for those who are hoping that calmer waters lie ahead, Dickon Ross has a clear message. In terms of disruption, what’s gone before will soon seem like a drop in the ocean. Far greater upheaval awaits us. Exciting times…

Posted on: 03 October 2016

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Man vs Machine by Peter Preston

Machines are great at measuring things, but are the things they measure a reliable guide to good journalism? Treating content like widgets might benefit the bottom line, short-term, but might well end up damaging publishing, long-term. As Peter Preston points out, people win Pulitzers, not machines.

Posted on: 03 October 2016

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Police-Press relations have never been worse by Anthony Longden

The last few years have seen a steady deterioration in police-press relations, with the police adopting something of a siege mentality. Anthony Longden looks at the causes of the present mistrust and asks whether anything can be done to salvage what should be a mutually beneficial relationship.

Posted on: 03 October 2016

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What next for digital editions? by David Hicks

In publishing companies over the last twelve months, there has been a noticeable shift towards reducing the costs of the creation and distribution of digital editions. David Hicks takes a look at the potential reasons behind this move in a marketplace that was deemed to be the saviour of publishing five years ago.

Posted on: 03 October 2016

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Product Management in a Publishing context by Ian Hart

One of the first areas Informa’s Business Intelligence division invested in as part of its strategy to return to organic growth was product management. Ian Hart, who moved from being content director to a senior product manager at the company, looks at how the function has been implemented and what challenges it has for publishers.

Posted on: 27 July 2016

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Search and Managing Today’s River of Information by Amanda Watlington

Search engines and publishers are both caught in the same dilemma, writes Amanda Watlington: how to retain the increasingly fragmented attention of their users and readers.

Posted on: 27 July 2016

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The changing role of the regional newspaper editor by Peter Sands

The role of editor has been no more immune to the winds of change than any other in publishing. Workloads have increased and resources have been cut, putting huge pressure on the editor. Peter Sands asks seven experienced editors about the role, how it has changed and whether or not it’s still an enjoyable job…

Posted on: 27 July 2016

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The Indy: putting up a good fight but can it win the war? by Jon Slattery

In March, the Independent closed its print editions and went digital-only. Obituaries were written and tears shed, though the publishers themselves were resolutely upbeat about their online future. Jon Slattery takes a look at the Independent to see if the spirit of ’86 lives on.

Posted on: 27 July 2016

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Wot lost it? by Liz Gerard

On 23 June, the UK voted to leave the EU and the earth hasn’t stopped shaking since. How did the usually (small ‘c’) conservative Brits come to make such a monumental decision and how did Fleet Street inform the debate and influence the result? Liz Gerard reports.

Posted on: 27 July 2016

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A New Prime Minister: What can we expect? by Owen Meredith

This morning, Britain woke up to a new dawn and a new resident in Number 10, our second female prime minister. Owen Meredith, head of public affairs at the PPA, ponders what the new leadership might mean for the country in general and the publishing sector in particular.

Posted on: 14 July 2016

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Anatomy of a local media marketing department by Will Hattam

Archant has ambitious plans and it’s in a hurry. The company’s stated aim is to be the best local media company in the UK by the end of 2017. The clock’s ticking. Central to achieving this goal, says Will Hattam, is the company’s marketing department.

Posted on: 03 June 2016

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Creating a LinkedIn Strategy for Your New Magazine by Amanda MacArthur

LinkedIn can be a highly effective tool for disseminating your content and growing your subscriber base. But, as with all social media, writes Amanda MacArthur, you first need to come up with a strategy and a plan… and then you need to follow it through.

Posted on: 03 June 2016

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Gender imbalance by Liz Gerard

Is the disproportionate number of pictures of un-newsworthy women in our national press an essential circulation prop or a demeaning way to treat half their potential readership? Or both? Liz Gerard investigates.

Posted on: 03 June 2016

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Rebalancing print and digital content by Carolyn Morgan

Readers consume content differently, depending on which platform and device they’re using. The challenge for publishers is in efficiently re-engineering their workflows and skill sets so as to make every piece of content fit for purpose. Progress has been made, and Carolyn Morgan wonders whether we are reaching a tipping point in the digital publishing journey.

Posted on: 03 June 2016

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What’s next for Native? by Tim Cain

The rise and rise of native advertising has been one of the big media stories of the last few years and the trend shows no signs of abating. Tim Cain looks at where native goes from here.

Posted on: 03 June 2016

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Succeeding in the Free Market by Stephanie Hyde

In recent years, there has been a surge in the launch of free titles. Having worked in the free distribution sector for thirteen years, Global Media Hub’s Stephanie Hyde is well placed to know what works and what doesn’t in the free distribution market.

Posted on: 08 May 2016

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In Memoriam: Kevin Hand 1951-2016 by Barry McIlheney

Former PPA Chairman Kevin Hand died last week after a short illness. Barry McIlheney, CEO of the PPA, pays tribute.

Posted on: 14 April 2016

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Covers: Four trends and a truth by Andy Cowles

Covers still count! Even in this age of declining print sales, a great cover can still drive sales and, when picked up by social media, can create unstoppable momentum for an issue – just ask Vanity Fair. Andy Cowles looks at trends in cover design.

Posted on: 01 April 2016

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Investigations: Journalists can be heroes by Jon Slattery

Two films released in the UK this year, writes Jon Slattery, highlight the way brilliant investigative journalism requires strong editors and publishers, teams of dedicated reporters, time and resources.

Posted on: 01 April 2016

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Monetising your readers when they’re not there by John Barnes

Just imagine it – one of your subscribers is reading content on a rival site and … you’re making money! Brilliant, and of course quite impossible in the pre-digital age. Smart publishers are, says John Barnes, now tracking and monetising their audience as they travel round the web.

Posted on: 01 April 2016

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Newspapers – acclimatising to the modern consumer by Charlie Beckett

Modern consumers, especially the young, want to consume news where they are, not where newspapers want them to be, and they want it packaged in the style they’ve become familiar with on social media. Distribution, packaging and audio-visual are all key to newspapers’ future success, says Charlie Beckett.

Posted on: 01 April 2016

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The BBC and the Press – can they co-exist? by Peter Preston

It’s been a love hate relationship right from the start, but one which has got progressively more fraught with the onset of digital and the decline of print. Is the antipathy justified and can they ever work together? Peter Preston says there are some common sense solutions, certainly at a local level, if both parties are prepared to compromise.

Posted on: 01 April 2016

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Video – making it pay by Martin Belam

If the future is video on mobile, how do publishers get in on the act? Monetisation, distribution and production challenges loom large, but, writes Martin Belam, if publishers keep experimenting and watching the metrics, then they’ll get there.

Posted on: 01 April 2016

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Opportunities & Threats: B2B Media by Colin Morrison

Colin Morrison’s article in the Publishing Partners Guide 2016

Posted on: 04 February 2016

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Opportunities & Threats: Consumer Media by David Hepworth

David Hepworth's article in the Publishing Partners Guide 2016

Posted on: 04 February 2016

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Opportunities & Threats: Customer Publishing by Nicola Murphy

Nicola Murphy's article in the Publishing Partners Guide 2016

Posted on: 04 February 2016

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Opportunities & Threats: National Press by Ray Snoddy

Ray Snoddy's article in the Publishing Partners Guide 2016

Posted on: 04 February 2016

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Opportunities & Threats: Regional Press by Steve Dyson

Steve Dyson's article in the Publishing Partners Guide 2016

Posted on: 04 February 2016

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2015 – a year in tabloid front pages by Liz Gerard

Headlines drive sales, so the choice of front page headline and picture says a lot about a newspaper’s priorities, outlook and what it thinks are the hopes and fears of its readership. Liz Gerard has analysed every front page from 2015 for the five daily tabloids. This is the story they told.

Posted on: 03 February 2016

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Ad Blocking – Can disruption ultimately be good for the industry? by Tim Cain

Probably the biggest media story of 2015 was the existential threat posed to the publishing industry by the rise of ad blocking, a threat that shows no signs of going away in 2016. Tim Cain looks at the challenges posed, how publishers are responding and the extent to which ad blocking may actually turn out to be an opportunity!

Posted on: 03 February 2016

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Global Cement – evolution of a brand by Robert McCaffrey

Like many publishers who successfully navigated their way through both the financial crash and digital dawn, Pro Global Media’s journey was not always a smooth, linear progression. There was, admits Robert McCaffrey, a certain amount of making it up as they went along.

Posted on: 03 February 2016

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How to Tweet Your New Magazine to Success by Amanda MacArthur

You’re the new kid on the block. You have no profile, no community and no traffic to your website. Nobody knows you! This clearly has to change if your new magazine is to have any chance of success, and, writes Amanda MacArthur, Twitter is a great way to achieve this. Here’s how…

Posted on: 03 February 2016

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It’s all about the Customer Experience! by Bea Montoya

Board executives across all sectors have realised that "getting closer to the customer" is crucial to growth. Both business buyers and consumers have more choices than ever before, more ways to buy and a voice to give and get recommendations, and talk back to companies. Today's customer is readily prepared to walk away from an established company relationship that doesn't meet their needs. And, writes Bea Montoya, this holds true for all industries today, including publishing.

Posted on: 03 February 2016

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What does 2016 hold for newspapers? by Peter Sands

A new year is a time for bold resolutions, for hope, confidence and determination to make the coming year better than the one just gone. Err… not in the world of the regional press, where Peter Sands finds a mood of despondency and where ‘more of the same’ pretty much sums up the outlook for 2016.

Posted on: 03 February 2016

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Why digital magazines must embrace a borderless future by Carolyn Morgan

Digital magazines have travelled a long way in the last few years – from print-replica page-turners to interactive, rich, visual resources. However, some publishers have struggled to translate these improvements into significant new revenue streams. Carolyn Morgan looks at the challenges and offers up some solutions.

Posted on: 03 February 2016

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BMJ – still going strong by Tim Brooks

At this summer’s PPA Awards, The BMJ won the Business Magazine of the Year award. CEO Tim Brooks looks at the reasons for the continuing success of a journal that was first published in 1840.

Posted on: 26 November 2015

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FoI Under Threat by Jon Slattery

The Freedom of Information Act came into force in January 2005. One decade on, how is FoI viewed by politicians and publishers? Jon Slattery investigates.

Posted on: 26 November 2015

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Mobile – why do some publishers still not get it? by Martin Belam

The move to mobile should not be taking us by surprise. The writing has been on the wall for years, yet, as an industry, we continue to be wrong-footed by developments in the mobile space. Martin Belam urges publishers to eat, sleep and breathe mobile.

Posted on: 26 November 2015

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Reimagining the Magazine Subscription: Buying Magazines in an Amazon World by Jim Bilton

There is a weird retro feel to both the magazine and the magazine subscription. While some parts of the business are operating at the cutting edge of digital subscription marketing, the majority are not. The simple fact is that 70% of consumer magazine buyers have no digital contact at all with their magazine brands; and most of them prefer it that way, feeling that print is a digital-free oasis, offering a refuge from the hectic, wired world where they spend most of their lives. In such a contrarian environment, where is the magazine subscription headed? That is the question at the core of a major new research project from Wessenden Marketing, commissioned by the PPA. Jim Bilton summarises the main findings.

Posted on: 26 November 2015

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Social media – newspapers’ frenemy by David Benady

Many newspapers rely on social media to drive traffic to their sites, yet recent initiatives by the social media giants suggest that they not only want to have their cake, but they want to eat it too. What should newspapers do? David Benady reports.

Posted on: 26 November 2015

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The Art of Making it Personal: the Next Decade in Magazine Publishing by Damian Butt

Publishing exists in a state of constant flux, with new trends and ideas replacing old orthodoxies as regularly as the stream of new titles being launched into the marketplace. It’s what makes it so exhilarating and exhausting in almost equal measure. Damian Butt looks at the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Posted on: 26 November 2015

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The Battle for Berkshire by Steve Dyson

Trinity Mirror’s digital-only project in Berkshire has triggered the launch of a new print title, while a competing newspaper’s sales are up more than 50%. Steve Dyson reports.

Posted on: 26 November 2015

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The Changing Role of the Consumer Magazine Editor by Claire Irvin

Editors nowadays have to produce more content, across more platforms, but with less resource. They have to be both commercial and creative, to continue taking full responsibility, whilst ceding total control. It’s pressured, writes Claire Irvin, but still a privilege.

Posted on: 26 November 2015

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What makes a great idea for a magazine? by Mary Hogarth

Every year, university students from PPA accredited degree and Masters courses compete for the Best Original Concept category in the Magazine Academy Awards. But what makes a winning entry and could it survive in the market? Mary Hogarth finds out…

Posted on: 21 October 2015

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