Snoddy Highlights Enduring Power Of Newspapers To Set Agenda

News media titles have an enduring power to set the agenda seen most recently through their strident coverage of the ongoing row over how Parliamentarians are held accountable for their outside interests, media commentator Ray Snoddy has said.   

In a piece for Mediatel, Mr Snoddy said it was a mistake to underestimate the reach and power of newsbrands by only looking at print circulation. “As Newsworks likes to remind the advertising community, news brands reach more than 46 million people a month,” Mr Snoddy said.

Giving examples of coverage across the industry, Mr Snoddy said that newspapers were key to setting the agenda with their coverage followed by the broadcasters and spread across social media platforms.

Announcing separately the finalists for the British Journalism Awards, Press Gazette’s Dominic Ponsford said that four of the eight nominations for the scoop of the year prize this year focused on allegations of UK government corruption, sleaze and incompetence.

“I can’t recall another time in the ten-year history of this event when a sitting government has generated so many award-nominated scoops as a result of its own conduct,” he said. 

“The other shortlists are also peppered with work which holds Parliament and the current government to account.

“As ever the British Journalism Awards are a reminder of the vital watchdog role played by the UK news industry and how it holds the government to account. Not all countries are lucky enough to have such a vibrant, independent and questioning media.”

NationalWorld, part of JPIMedia, has carried out an exclusive in-depth investigation into MPs’ commitments outside of Parliament during the pandemic amidst the ongoing row over how Parliamentarians are held accountable for their outside interests. 

Analysis by NationalWorld journalists of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests dating back to the start of 2020 revealed MPs collectively earned approximately £10 million during the pandemic as a result of commitments outside of Parliament 

 Mr Snoddy said: “Despite lockdown and a challenging financial environment, it’s a great time to be a journalist- if you have managed to hold onto your job. There is no end of stories to investigate and no shortage of stones to turn over to see what crawls out.

 “There is even some markedly better financial news with a number of newspaper groups with very different operating models starting to recover from the worst effects of Covid.

“The largely advertising-based Reach, publishers of the Mirror and Express had an encouraging first half with digital delivering increased revenues of more than £68 million, although print still accounted for most of the revenue at £232 million.

“The largely subscription based News Corp, publishers of The Times and the Wall Street Journal, has just had its best quarter since 2013 with an 18 per cent rise in revenues to $2.5 billion and a 53 per cent rise in profits.

“As The Independent celebrated its 35th anniversary it was also marking its fourth consecutive year of profit since going digital-only and plans to hire another 30 journalists over the next 12 months.

“The more journalists, the merrier to expose sleazy politicians, fake news  and the biggest story of all our lives – tackling climate change.”