newspapers are now the least popular way to get news

Always Ofcom throws up fascinating research and a report trailed in The Guardian is no exception.

by Dan Slee

This is significant: printed newspapers have become the least popular way that people use to keep up to date with what is going on in the world.

According to a report in the Guardian the annual Ofcom news consumption study will say that 31 per cent of the population read a printed newspaper to keep informed. This is a fall from 41 per cent the previous year.

On the other hand, TV news on 67 per cent, the internet with 41 per cent and radio 32 per cent are all comfortably ahead of breaking news on the news stand.

To anyone interested in the media landscape this feels like hugely landmark news in itself. To communications teams geared-up to service the needs of newspapers first and foremost this feels especially important.

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read all about it - a story from before the smartphone

There's a generation of people now who have never bought a newspaper. Ever. And even for those of us who have it's more an occasional, old skool treat for a train trip or a day sat away from screens. So it's good to be reminded of the sway they once had, and, in some areas, still do...

by GUEST EDITOR Will Mapplebeck

My first job in journalism was with the Westmorland Gazette in Kendal in the Lake District.

God, I was bored. I sometimes joke that I was there for almost three years and absolutely nothing happened.

There was one murder.

It was my week off and I missed it.

New Labour was elected, Princess Diana died, the IRA blew up half of Manchester city centre. There was a palpable sense that Britain could be on the cusp of big change.

But not in Kendal or its picturesque patch which still resembled what George Orwell was talking about when he described 'old maids cycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist'.

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how to give the smaller people a bigger voice

Know your stuff. Know who covers your patch then get to know them. It's an approach that's as old as the hills but one that continues to bear fruit if done with skill.

by Russ Cockburn

It’s interesting to view how much the economic pendulum has swung since the global recession of 2009.

Back then a large part of the media’s agenda was sewn up with the big boys, the car producers, aerospace giants and the financial powerhouses would regularly adorn the pages of the nationals and the airtime of our major broadcasters.

Stories from SMEs - small, medium enterprises - did get covered, don’t get me wrong. However, more often than not they were neatly packaged away in their own special enterprise section and very rarely did they make it into mainstream news.

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social media and purdah: your handy guide

In the public sector, Purdah is a period in the run-up to the election  where comms changes. You are not allowed to promote politicians or get involved in a political campaign. Here are some guidelines for social media and Purdah.

by Dan Slee

There’s this funny period in the run-up to an election which sees local government comms team change behaviour.

Gone are the press releases from politicians and in comes quotes from officers. Why? To ensure that the council cannot be accused of political bias in the run up to polling day.

It’s been around for decades and local government comms teams have got a pretty good grasp of what this entails. It means under The Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity (Local Government Act 1986) that newsletters, press releases, conferences, badges and web pages are affected.

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5 challenges for students' union comms

Were you a student? You may remember a blizzard of flyers and posters from ther Students' Union. But in a changing landscape where 95 per cent have smartphones one comms person tells of the challenges she faces. 

by Jo Walters

Students’ unions which are also known as guilds or associations are democratic student-led organisations based in every UK university and many further education colleges.

Students are automatically members of their students’ union - unless they chose to opt out - and unions provide a mixtures of services and opportunities for their members.

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working in comms opens doors and we're recruiting

As one organisation looks to take on new staff their head of communications and engagement sets out a little of her own comms journey.

by Caroline King

This blog has been written to support Helena’s latest comms recruitment campaign. I wanted to talk about how comms as a career can really open doors for you and will do this by reflecting on my own experiences. It’s fair to say that Comms has and always will be my passion, regardless of where my career takes me. It has been an amazing journey against a backdrop of changing comms practices, channels a go go and a technological revolution.

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media law changes comms people need to know

Do you have a battered copy of McNae's Essential Law for Journalists on your desk? Many public relations people do. Thing is after a busy few weeks much of it is obsolete. In this post a media law expert runs comms people through some of the key headlines they need to know.

By David Banks

During the past week a significant shift happened in the lives of journalists in the UK.

The Defamation Bill finally passed, and when give the Royal Assent and fully implemented it will make a huge difference to anyone publishing here because of one key clause.

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