December 4, 2008

A new Bristol Press?

I've heard an awful lot in recent weeks from people who know something about newspapers and people who are interested in learning a lot more.
I'm beginning to get a glimmer of what the Press might be like if it comes through this crisis.
I suspect that if it is purchased, it will probably pare back to publishing perhaps three or four times a week, with the focus almost exclusively on Bristol, Plymouth, Burlington and probably Plainville.
It will have a more robust and continuously updated website where the news almost always appears first and breaking news can be updated all day. There will also be more pictures, videos, sound bites and such on there.
I suspect the printed editions will still bring in most of the revenue, but the website will be the paper's future, assuming anyone ever figures out how to make it pay for itself. Early on, perhaps, the full edition of the printed paper will be online for a fee.
There will be more citizen input into the paper, with areas for groups to upload press releases about events and fundraisers. It will have a discussion board that will, with luck, offer a robust debate about the community.
I wouldn't be surprised if the printed issues are either delivered free to everyone or else turned back into an afternoon paper. It might well return to a broadsheet format.
I'm genuinely excited about the possibilities, especially if there is local ownership again instead of businessmen from faraway locales. And in case any potential buyers are reading, you should know that most of the employees are as eager to make this work as I am. We can make the Press thrive.
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