Magazine article Marketing

News Frenzy Will Push Up Costs for the Hard-Pressed UK Media

Magazine article Marketing

News Frenzy Will Push Up Costs for the Hard-Pressed UK Media

Article excerpt

The next few months are going to be a difficult time for the British media and all those who live by it. The weekend attacks may have been as unexpected as the arrival of Hallowe'en, but the effects will still be profound. In the lull since the bleak days after September 11, there was the start of a slight return of confidence. There was a feeling, however insubstantial, that the very worst might just be over. That is unlikely to be so now and analysts will be playing with their financial models to make an additional allowance for uncertainty in order to further reduce ad revenues.

Media lunches might finally have to come to an end. It could be as serious as that; freezes on recruitment might not be enough.

The problem is that for most media organisations -- with the exception of the BBC -- the evaporation of revenues will coincide with the extra costs of covering a long, drawn-out war in the most difficult circumstances. This time we don't even have a CNN team in Kabul for everyone else to plagiarise.

As the events rumble on, every news organisation will feel a sacred duty to cover every twist and turn and the nationals' war desks will lay out acres of newsprint on a daily basis, whether or not much is happening. Already on the opening night of the great drama we begin to see the scale of the problem. Occasional anti-aircraft trails in the night sky, reporters reporting that they didn't really know what was happening -- or contradicting each other. Kandahar airport has been destroyed -- or not as the case may be. …

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