No-one wants to talk to journalists anymore: managing editor of Yorkshire Post Newspapers

Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of Yorkshire Post Newspapers

Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of Yorkshire Post Newspapers

News has become sanitised, according to Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of Yorkshire Post Newspapers.

She told students at Leeds Trinity University that getting really good copy was much easier in the past: “You’d just go to the police or the ambulance and they’d show you their incident books. Now you’ve got to ring a voicebank and if we do ask questions we are given sanitised approved statements.”

Nicola said this was just one of many challenges facing the newspaper industry.

“Newspaper sales are declining, there’s no point denying that. Newspapers are not king anymore, we need to change and evolve and engage with our audience more than ever.

“There has been a multimedia explosion where you can get your news any time you like, anywhere you like and it’s free. There is the BBC, Sky, and everyone is a publisher.

“People’s lifestyles are changing they are more time pressed. We need to publish the right content, at the right time, in the right format. Every second is a deadline. We have to be first and we have to be correct.”

She said a newspaper with efficient editorial staff, engaging content and high levels of trust would succeed.

Nicola said newspapers now need to be much more involved with their audience and can use Facebook and Twitter to interact, and also apologise for errors.

“Before we used to keep them at arm’s length. But now we need to respond to their tweets, tweet them back and keep them engaged.”

Nicola advised students about some of the qualities she would look for in a new recruit, including being multi-skilled and able to shoot video.

She said job applicants needed to prove they were agile and dynamic.

“I don’t want you to come in with a limp handshake or be scruffily dressed. You have to care. To get a job you need to be outstanding and the gap between being good and outstanding is wide. You need to be able to do a lot of things at once, know the paper, know your audience and be blatantly ambitious.

“We’re really proud of the paper and we want you to be proud of it too. I don’t want to see your portfolio, I want you to tell me about it and how you got it.

“Job seekers need to show that they went beyond the basics to get their own stories besides work experience. They need to have a website that is linked to everything.”

Nicola also spoke of her first experience in the industry as a teenager where “hold the front page” still meant something and the only other females were the secretary and the librarian.

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  1. […] under way for the paper’s physical version too, Managing Editor Nicola Furbisher told a conference in Leeds today. It’ll be interesting to see whether that works a bit of magic […]

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