Media Perspective: Telegraph breathing life into beleaguered newspaper medium

I'm not aware that my favourite print product has been invented yet. It would be along the lines of Dennis Publishing's excellent The Week, only not edited by posh Notting Hill-types who only read the upmarket papers and the financial pages.

Called something like The Bitch, it would round up all the Peter and Katie and Brangelina tittle-tattle, feature a hefty TV and video games section and be topped off by fulsome coverage of the indoor sports world, with a special focus on darts and snooker, lifted from the net and local newspapers.

Sadly, it seems to be a product that the print news industry can do perfectly well without. And, in any case, maybe there's no need to invent it now the weekday Sun is back down to a measly 20p (to compete with the limbo-pole low price of the Daily Star) and I can buy the London Evening Standard each day for 25p by flashing my Oyster card. I still have to get some of the pub sports bit online, but I can live with that.

Still, it's not just price promotions that are currently setting the newspaper world alight. There are hundreds of billboard and press sites currently filled with ads for newspapers as the Standard, thelondonpaper, The Daily Telegraph and The Times all spend big at the same time.

Newspaper publishers believe there is life in their business yet and, judging by the buzz around the Telegraph right now, they could well be right. Driving the news agenda with its MPs' expenses exclusives (now entering a third week), and collecting up to an extra 100,000 sales on a good day, the Telegraph is an example of the fact that strong news exclusives still shift papers and that newspapers can deliver something their online rivals can't. And the scandal has been a great wider branding exercise fully exploited by the Telegraph - on Question Time alone last week, it must have been name-checked dozens of times.

The opposition (in newspapers at least) are not taking this lying down.

Of the campaigns around at the moment, the Standard's has made me reassess my perceptions of the title, but it's The Times' London campaign that has really caught my eye in recent months - though CBS Outdoor's "time to consider" campaign, which showcases digital cross- track technology to show what Londoners think of key issues, confused me as I initially thought it was part of The Times activity.

Maybe it's a surprise to see such proactive activity in difficult times, but newspapers, the Telegraph especially, are right to be confident at the moment. Despite the hand wringing that's going on over to charge or not to charge for online content, the newspaper industry isn't quite ready to take itself off to die.

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