What’s Slimmer Than a Glimmer?

Stretching the boundary of what constitutes a ‘glimmer’ way beyond credibility-point, the YEP today published a “Glimmer of hope for newspaper publishers“:

Newspaper publishers Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror reported more advertising pain today, but offered a glimmer of hope amid signs revenue declines are bottoming out.

Johnston Press, which owns The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, [Note: and the YEP] noted “greater stability over recent weeks” as advertising revenues fell 34.4% in the 19 weeks to May 9, easing from the near-36% plunge seen over the first two months.

Read: The Bad News is that our business is going down the pan; The Good News is that it is  going there less quickly than it once was – 1.6 per cent less quickly in fact.

The reality however is that, although local papers have – like everyone else – been  affected by the credit-crunch,  they have a far more terminal problem that would, even in a rosier economic climate, be threatening their existence: the internet.

Earlier this year, former chairman of Johnston Press Roger Parry spoke at length on this issue of the bleak future for local news (reported by Tiberius here) where he painted this doomsday scenario:

Local newspapers are nearing the end of their Cretaceous era. The asteroids – recession and the internet – have landed and the K-T extinction horizon is imminent

And though the recession may one day be behind us, Tiberius doesn’t see even a newly-redefined-glimmer of hope that ‘the internet’ is going to be ending anytime soon.


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