Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Why positive news is good for us all

Why Positive News Is Good For Us All

Independent News Ltd. buys previously loss making newspapers and turns them into profit making entities that improve communications with local communities.

This is all done with the power of positive news. Positive news sells. Companies would much rather have their product or service advertised alongside an uplifting article that puts the reader in a good mood than an article about doom and gloom.

Positive Stories
What kind of stories do you like to read in the news?

Stories about success and celebration? Or stories about tragedy and the misfortune of others?

Most people would surely prefer to read uplifting stories that are well written and that aim to educate and inspire.

But unfortunately, when you take a look at your daily newspaper each morning, you may notice that the main headlines all focus on negativity.

Nowadays, column inches seem to be packed full of the woes of celebrities, the failures of politicians, the depressing overview of the economic climate. Even worse, these stories of gloom are often reported with an amount of glee on behalf of the journalist. The articles are often poorly written and do not educate nor inspire positive change in the life of the reader or society in general.

But wouldn’t it be nice to be greeted with an uplifting story about achievement, about something to celebrate, about something optimistic to get you in a good mood as you take on the day?

This is exactly what Duncan Williams, a Director on the board of Independent News Ltd., aims to achieve. He really does believe in the power of a good story.

“A good story does as it says on the tin; It reports a truthful, inspiring message. Maybe sheds a little light on some gloom... or draws attention to somebody or something worthwhile. The story's power lies in the fact that through its reporting it seeks to encourages more of the same” said Williams.

Improving Society With Positive Media

Duncan Williams hopes to increase the well-being of society with positive media.

“Marginalised elements of society often find it hard to access or express views in the mainstream media. Broadly speaking there is a trade in sensationalism and death. A tragic killing gets a mass of column inches and airtime, whereas the celebration of a human life gets far less. A birthday of a 100 year old citizen deserves as much, if not more attention, than the gleeful reporting of yet more doom and gloom. Coverage should always aim to be personal and real. Profiles of people should aim to help readers identify and feel a part of the story rather than apart from it. Ten years of revised media attitudes could have a remarkably beneficial effect upon society.”

A good story does not necessarily have to be an uplifting story of celebration. A tragic story can also be a good story.

In the reporting of a tragic story the reader demands that there be a point and a purpose to the way the story is told. From a tragedy people can still learn something that will help them in life. A tragedy often brings out the best in people and highlights the inner strength of human beings, with communities pulling together during times of adversity.

Whether it be about a tragedy or a success, a good story is always about the celebration of human life.

“It's human nature to want a good motive to override a bad one; it's what best assists group survival” states Williams.

Good Stories Sell
A good story is also advantageous from a business perspective. Good stories sell.

With Independent News Ltd., Duncan Williams has found a winning business formula of purchasing previously loss making regional newspapers and fast tracking them into profit. By doing this he has built up a portfolio of titles launched specifically at improving communication within local communities.

Independent News Ltd. uses what is known as value advertising to turn the newspapers into profitable entities.

The concept of value advertising is to increase the number of positive and uplifting stories in newspapers to make it more appealing for companies to want to purchase advertising space alongside such articles.

Duncan Williams believes that advertisers would much rather have an ad for their product displayed next to a positive story than alongside a story full of gloom and negativity. An uplifting story will shed the product in a more positive light. The reader will also be in a more positive mood as a result of the story and thus more receptive to advertisements on the page.

“If you were a newspaper advertiser would you want to promote your product or service next to an article about something dark and negative or positive and uplifting? Positive wins through.” he said.

Creating A More Positive Society

Independent News Ltd. is about more than just profiting from uplifting stories. Duncan Williams believes that by offering more positive media, we can build a more positive society.

“When all focus is placed relentlessly upon the negative, true vision, faith and hope all get eroded. A new pair of glasses can remind people that the world can still be a very beautiful place even in the most difficult of times. Modern media can be that powerful.” he states.

Duncan Williams wants to see more stories about the celebration of human life. Stories that help readers identify and feel part of the story rather than apart from it. He believes that ten years of revised media attitudes could have a remarkably beneficial effect upon society.

The Future Of Positive Media

As Independent News Ltd. continue to turn around the fortunes of magazines and newspapers, the amount of quality content in the media is only going to increase.

In 10 years’ time you may well get to take a look at your morning newspaper and read a good story that not only informs you, but educates you, and inspires you, and enriches your life. Wouldn’t that make a nice change?

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Local news for local people

THURSDAY morning is the best morning of the week for me - writes FRANK WORRALL.

That's the time when I pop down to the newsagent down the street and pick up the local paper.

I flick through it quickly in the store, take it home and devour it at a more leisurely pace as I eat my Cornflakes.

Like the Sunday papers, the local paper has always been an important, habitual part of my adult life.

It's a thrill to see your friends smiling down at you from the pages, celebrating an anniversary, maybe getting married, or having achieved something worthwhile.

It's also interesting to see what your neighbours and people you know are up to - are they planning work on their home, have they been up in court for something or are they up in arms about some proposal or the other?

Also, of course, there's the public service the local paper provides - keeping you in the frame over what the local council and businesses are planning and letting you know the latest in BMDs (births, deaths and marriages).

And then there's the chance to pick up a veritable local bargain from the array of classified and display adverts.

But now this valuable source of local news, entertainment, buys and services is under threat as never before.

As The Guardian newspaper so succinctly put it recently: 'For the first time since the Enlightenment, large communities face the prospect of muddling through without any verifiable source of news...their potential disappearance should be a matter of some public alarm.'

Indeed it should - we need a thriving local Press, it is as much a part of the local community as the local police bobby or the library or town hall.

In the 1960s our local railways suffered a similar nightmare of decimation - with local branch lines and service lost for good after the report of axeman in chief, Dr Richard Beeching.

Beeching recommended the cuts to 'streamline' local services but the inevitable result was that there were no services left to streamline after his savagery was implemented.

Ring a bell?

It should do - similar cuts are now being suggested, and implemented, at local level in the world of newspapers.

This is something we should fight against.

Why is it happening?

Essentially, because classified advertising is migrating to the internet - but also because local councils are sticking the boot in by suddenly producing their own freesheets on 'cost efficiency' grounds.

How are they 'cost efficient'?

Well, simple really - their existence means there is no need to spend money supporting local papers, because the jobs and council ads now appear exclusively in their own freesheets.

The council freesheets are invariably dull, poorly produced and full of puffs about how good a job the local council is doing.

They are in no way viable substitutes for the local papers they are replacing and helping sentence to a slow, painful death.

So what can we do about can we help our valuable local papers survive?

We can keep buying them, of course - but that in itself may not be enough.

As far as I can see, we can also explore two other avenues...

We can demand of our local councils that they divert their adverts out of their freesheet and back into the local papers.

And we can demand of the Government that they divert some of the astonishing sums of money we plough into the BBC towards helping the survival of local papers.

They do, after all, provide a more important service to the normal man and woman in the street than say some avant-garde, little-listened radio station or some so-called worthy cause string of programmes on BBC4.

We need to lobby our local MPs and councils - and ask them for their help.

Subsidies and advertising returned to its rightful place may be the key to survival.

Otherwise, Thursday mornings will one day hold a less special affection in my heart.

And probably yours too...