Newspaper editor Marc Reeves told a panel discussion on the future of the media that he had witnessed more significant change in the industry during the last two or three years than he had in the whole of the last quarter of a century.
But despite digital advancements, and the explosion of social media – and the dramatic fading of the “traditional consumption” of news – core values had remained unaltered.
“At the end of the day, we are still holding councils to account and exposing those who need to be exposed,” he told attendees at a Birmingham Press Club/BBC Midlands event. “And good old-fashioned journalism, with its various checks in place, will counter-act fake news.”
Marc, who is editor in chief of the Midlands operation of Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror), said his core print titles would be around for a long time yet, but he added: “We have crossed the Rubicon” – acknowledging the rapid development of the digital sector and the success of the Birmingham Mail’s website, Birmingham Live.
He added that he was more optimistic for the future than he had been for a while and that Birmingham’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2022 would be the peg on which to hang so many opportunities – sentiments echoed by the other panel members, Eileen Murphy, editor of BBC News Online from BBC Birmingham, Rob Adcock, social media executive for BBC Three and Luke Addis, owner of Updates Media, who said he planned to open new websites for Coventry and London later this year.
Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Midlands, who hosted the event at the BBC’s headquarters at The Mailbox, said he believed there was renewed confidence and optimism in the region after having come through “some difficult times.” Commenting on Birmingham being shortlisted as one of the potential relocations for Channel 4, Eileen said that if the broadcaster moved to the city – now a centre of digital excellence - it would act as a ‘magnet” for further significant investment. A decision on the relocation is expected on 1 October.
The discussion took place under the chairmanship of BBC Midlands Today presenter Mary Rhodes.
Pics: Andrew Kibbler