Monday, 17 May 2010

Kenilworth Weekly News in Warwick Road

THESE PREMISES ARE EMPTY and are NO LONGER the offices of THE KENILWORTH WEEKLY NEWS

Kenilworth Weekly News‎
31 Warwick Road CV8 1LJ
01926 852 870‎
www.kenilworthweeklynews.co.uk
(The KWN website has no relationship to the print copy edition. For example, headline as Fri 14 May 2010 reads 'Police target house burglars' - that is not found anywhere on the KWN website or with a detailed Google search). What is also alarming is the KWN website has now introduced intensive advertising).

Sad times for a newspaper that was established in 1946. When you pay 50p for the newspaper on a Friday, there are very few pages of Kenilworth News (around five feature stories a week).

Currently, the Kenilworth Weekly News sells an average of 3,533 copies per week (in a town population of 26,000 or so). That was 3,704 copies per week in August 2009 as reported by the Press Gazette.

Did you know that one paper copy of the KWN laid end to end is about 24 metres in length, by selling 3,533 copies a week the paper will stretch for 53 miles - what a waste of paper and not searchable, linkable and clickable either. 

The KWN is owned by Johnston Press who have financial difficulties and have shut five titles, but say they have 'no plans as we speak' to cut more titles (see The Guardian).


Johnston Press have played down suggestions that their idea of a paywall (they were asking online readers to pay £5.00 for 3 months access) for their online versions has failed, see BBC News and The Guardian once again.  In my rough estimates from searching the web, KWN may get 16% of their revenue by selling the newspaper for 50p, the rest comes from advertising. But in these difficult times advertising spending is decreasing and Johnston Press are trying hard to cope with the threat of full digital editions and competition.

For those of you who do not know, many years ago there were very few ways to get the news - the most popular, buy it every day in hard copy paper version from a newsagent (yes I know there was TV and Radio too). Since 1998 (when Google came alive) titles have disappeared as people like Google aggregate the news which means linking to all the news stories and show them in their search results.  This has left people like Rupert Murdoch not selling papers like The Times and losing money, blaming Google and trying to charge for readers for online news, see this BBC article.  Many say this will not work, I agree. On the other hand, The Guardian have introduced an iphone application and sold it via the Apple iTunes store where readers pay once and possibly never again.

This idea that a town newspaper (aka the KWN) is shrinking and may eventually close is one of the reasons I have made this website. And it does not stop there, the Official Kenilworth Town Website is also under threat as it has never really been updated since it was first published (well over a year). If you missed that article click here. Even then it caters for the large businesses but not the small ones who matter - they need the coverage most to survive.

I have always been a big fan of the Kenilworth Weekly News since my first Soapbox column in 1999, but times are changing and anyone can report the news these days - even me. (If the article is too small, click here for a larger one.

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