At a panel discussion at the Society of Editors conference, industry leaders were optimistic about the future of the industry despite the decline of traditional print media.
Both Simon Fox, Chief Executive of Trinity Mirror, and fellow panelist Peter Barron, former editor of BBC’s Newsnight, said that journalism today is in robust health.
“The standard of journalism is absolutely phonemenal,” said Cox.
Both agreed that there has been a revolution in the way reporters gather information.
Barron said: “The possibilities for journalists are so rich today.”
Steve Auckland, former chief executive of Local World, said: “The web has enabled encouraging audience growth for first time in a long time.”
However, the panelists disagreed on the best way to monetize digital media.
Speaking on paywalls, Simon Fox, Chief executive of Trinity Mirror, said: “For a mass news organisation like Trinity Mirror, the best route was to have content available to as many readers as possible.”
Panel member Geraldine Allinson, Chairman of the KM Group, was optimistic about advertising online.
She said: “Advertisitng is definitely going in the right direction…but ask me again in 6 months time.”
David Dinsmore, editor of The Sun, argued that a paywall was best for his newspaper, and that he was excited to have an in depth relationship with their readers.
“If you can create an easy mechanism, people will pay for it,” he said.
In a more diplomatic fashion, Fox said: “There’s no right or wrong model.
“There are different approaches in each case.”