Are newspapers catching a new wind?

The British Press Awards 2007 took place on Monday night. The UK Press Gazette which organises and sponsors the event has a full double page spread with portraits of the delighted winners.

This is a new free trial issue of the UK Press Gazette (sporting our new largest format page size). You can probably tell that the earlier free issue’s largest format is a bit smaller than this new one, perhaps too small for comfort.

The article which most sparked my interest was the report on the Newsroom Barometer – a Reuters-co-sponsored study on the future of the newspaper industry. Surprisingly optimistic, is the general tenor of the industry. Don’t you like the comments of Monique Villa, of Reuters? She says ‘If you think that News International spent in the last three years $1 Billion on their printing presses, it completely blows away the argument that print will die in five years.’ She is spot on.

But the editor of Press Gazette is also quite right to put an information box in the article which notes the massive move of advertising money to the web. Newspapers are certainly not going to die, but they also need to find out how to carve out their advertising revenues on the web. Apparently the UK is the country with the highest proportion of the advertising budget that is allocated to online advertising (11% or £2 Billion in 2006).