Friday, May 15, 2009...1:34 pm

Could investigative journalism save the Evening Standard?

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Unsurprisingly, journalism bloggers have been keen to jump on the relaunched Evening Standard as a topic for posting. (Surprisingly, I got in quite early – normally I’m days or weeks behind the curve). 

I wrote that the Standard could go for a local news aggregation model in a bid to offer something different, and attractive, to readers.

FleetStreetBlues punts in with the notion that investigative journalism might be the Standard’s saving grace:

Why not completely scale back its general news coverage, relying more on wire copy for the stories that readers will already have seen or heard about elsewhere anyway, and put all its spare resources into investigative journalism?

It’s an interesting take. I’m a firm believer that no one is actually interested in the news anymore – a perhaps sad reflection on our shallow, trivia-obsessed society. (Or maybe just a sad reflection on me.) But also a reflection that there’s just too much of the stuff around. 

But the FleetStreetBlues crowd have at least partly recognised this. The idea that you’d just give up on general reporting and use the wires – like the freebies do, I imagine – is bold and sensible.

I have to say I find their suggestion that  “every day the newspaper vendor’s sandwich boards would be plastered with one jaw-dropping expose after another – so jaw-dropping that there and then readers would be willing to part with their 50p.” a little fanciful. 

(Actually, so do they. “Could it work? Probably not”, they admit, cheerfully.)

But the idea that you should stop doing the things you’ve done for decades and think of doing something differently is key to making the modern news media work.

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