I’ve never been fired before. And I wasn’t expecting the phone call last Friday afternoon from Scotsman magazine editor, Alison Gray.
I’d written a slightly controversial blog entry for allmediascotland.com suggesting that, as websites replace printed newspapers, there would be little need for physical offices and that the role of the sub-editor would disappear. I hoped it would be a little provocative, but the most I expected was to have a few virtual brickbats lobbed in my direction.
In passing, however, I’d talked about the way newspapers are being destroyed by economics. Essentially, their biggest revenue streams, recruitment and property advertising, are moving from print to the web. It’s a process that’s being going on for years, so it’s hardly news.
To illustrate that point I mentioned that, as I was going through the process of selling my flat in Edinburgh, the estate agents I spoke to didn’t feel that advertising in The Scotsman would be cost-effective. The example was simply a throw-away to show how much things have changed.
Not so long ago, advertising a property in the local press would have been the norm. My middle-class Edinburgh flat would have been advertised in Edinburgh’s middle-class paper, The Scotsman. Today, the key to selling a property such as my ten year-old, three-bedroomed city centre flat is the web, not print.