Much has been written about blogs and online media as they affect modern journalism. However, there is another, quieter trend that has been sweeping through the news world: newspapers and other media sources joining forces under a single brand.
In the United States, for example, several local or regional newspapers will often be owned by a single group, and the news that comes out of these newspapers is very similar. This is bad if you want total editorial independence and a variety of different slants on any given story. However, the move makes sense for the many smaller newspapers that are struggling to find good stories and also to make a profit. Maintaining one brand and sharing resources with several similar publications makes good financial sense, enabling newspapers to continue operating in a time when subscriptions are being dropped in favor of free news on the internet.
This trend has also caught on in other parts of the world. Our neighbors to the north previously had two separate brands that were the major voices of [intlink id=”2295″ type=”post”]Canadian[/intlink] newspapers: The Canadian Newspaper Association and the Canadian Community Newspaper Association. These are not periodicals, but lobbyists representing them. They represented the same needs and shared expenses on some items, but they in effect were duplicating each other. However, as with many newspapers, the two organizations are moving beyond sharing management and are now consolidating under a single brand called [intlink id=”3723″ type=”post”]Newspapers[/intlink] Canada.
The brand and logo design are relevant to the modern journalism industry, with a computer screen backed by several pages. This refers to the dual print and internet natures of modern periodicals. After all, news is no longer found merely on a black and white, double fold paper found on your doorstop every morning. Modern people turn to a variety of sources for their information, and this organization represents a variety of different news formats. The blue color is business-like and also gives an honest, trustworthy air to the image. The tagline is new as well: Trusted, Connected, Targeted.
A united front will give both groups more power, especially as they have been lobbying for common goals. This increased clout likely comes with lower overall expenses, although the two have been sharing resources for a while. If they are saving money at the same time, it will mean reduced expenses for their member newspapers—a savings that can be used to keep quality high and subscription rates low for people like us.
Many decry the fact that small businesses are routinely bought out by larger corporations, or that similar small businesses merge to create larger ones. While this may seem to reduce diversity in the marketplace, it may have just the opposite effect. In many cases, the new and larger brands continue to offer similar ranges, while more small businesses open to fill ignored niches. In addition, sharing expenses creates lower prices and a cost-driven marketplace. Better branding, more market diversity, and lower prices—now those are changes we all can embrace!