As I sit here, eyeing up another mince pie and wondering why my Christmas holiday hasn’t started already, my mind wanders to 2019. What would l like to see happen in the next twelve months?
Here are my five, very modest, wishes: 1. More publishers start charging for content. With paywall technology growing more sophisticated and flexible all the time, there’s nothing to stop publishers dipping their toe in the reader-revenue water. This will set the industry on a more sustainable path. 2. Publishers stop lending their valuable content to their main competition. I know we can’t (yet) eschew social media, but part of me yearns for a time when publishers can dedicate all their resources to producing the best possible content and UX on their own sites. 3. Content creators get a pay rise. Content is our USP. Commoditised content is rubbish and those who produce the good stuff should be paid well; nowhere is this truer than in the regional press. 4. Advertisers rediscover the value of display. Display is without equal when it comes to brand building, but its efficacy is being drowned out by short termism and wrong-headed metrics. We should redouble our efforts to re-educate the market. 5. We find the heirs to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. My final wish is that 2019 throws up two brilliant young journalists who get there before Bob Mueller and who the publishing industry and wider world can venerate for the next fifty years.
There – that’s not too much to ask for! I’m off now to enjoy a cup of tea and that mince pie. There won’t be a newsletter next week, but we’ll be back first week in January. In the meantime, I wish you a joyful Christmas break and a healthy and prosperous 2019.