Yesterday, my classmates and I had the honour of visiting the newsroom of the Daily Telegraph here in London.
This was an exciting experience for all of us. We were informed by our instructor that we should consider ourselves lucky; it is not often that The Telegraph agrees to give a tour to such a large group of people (there are 42 of us in the international journalism programme).
Welcome to the Daily Telegraph
We met in the lobby of the building at 10am. We continued upstairs to the conference room after being greeted by a jolly security guard who made a joke about my last name (I’ve heard them all, so please don’t bother).
A staff member greeted us with some basic facts about the newspaper. It was no surprise to hear that The Telegraph’s circulation has dropped in recent years. Sadly, this is the case for almost all western newspapers. Luckily, this is not the case for countries like India, where print media continues to grow.
How does a newspaper make money?
Simply put, a newspaper is a business. A print publication must never lose focus of its need to make a profit. If the publication doesn’t make a profit, it goes under. To a certain extent, every decision must revolve around finances.
A newspaper must constantly be looking for new ways to gain more subscribers. It must come up with innovative marketing ideas. It must write articles that appeal to a wide audience.
It must also be concerned about whether a certain paid advertisement is going to upset readers. It must try its absolute best not to lose loyal subscribers due to offensive advertising or insensitive articles.
A steep contrast
It is interesting to consider the difference between a newspaper like the Daily Telegraph and the BBC. The BBC has the benefit of receiving £145.50 a year from
every household in the UK that owns a television. Wow, that’s a lot of money.
Because of this, the BBC has the luxury of not having to worry about finances in the same way that newspapers and independent broadcasting companies do. It doesn’t have to constantly struggle to keep viewers interested.
Despite viewer satisfaction, the BBC will continue to receive the same amount of funding each year. Why? Because if you and I want to have televisions in our homes, we are required by law to pay a TV licensing fee.
I would like to open this post up for discussion. Please feel encouraged to share your views on the following:
What are your thoughts on the BBC?
How can newspapers compete against new media and the BBC?
What is the future of print journalism?
Should TV license fees exist? If so, should all of the money go toward the BBC?