Positive spin on a weekly Express & Echo, could social media fill in the gaps?

From September the Express & Echo will be published once a week on a Thursday. It will aim at about 200 pages so perhaps almost as many as many as six times thirty two as Exeter is udes to. But I think the nature of a weekly publication could change fundamentally in relation to the internet and social media.

Currently there is not much promotion of the website in the print version. The "Contact Us" section has a paragraph on Breaking News suggesting www.thisisexeter.co.uk for updates from the Echo newsroom. If the print version is only once a week then the website will be even more essential for anything that happens between Thursdays.

Also the web is not exclusive for sources. There is no approximation towards monopoly as with a printing press. So websites become part of social media and the audience can find a variety of views. The role of a print publication could be to show all the possible connections and summarise the current conversation. A weekly is not the same as six days stacked together.

Featuring a wider range of social media could also extend the content available for print publication. OhmyNews in South Korea has developed a model of citizen journalism by concentrating resources on wedsites and editing. They have a free weekly print version to reach a wider audience. Already the Express & Echo has features such as wedding photographs sent in by readers and also on Thursdays a selection of pet photographs.

Thursday is also the day for the Wheelie Wild Show on Phonic FM. A major concern for Chris Norton is the music but I can sometimes slip in some talk so I will try to raise the issues around local media. We may carry this on while the transition to weekly print is worked through. So the Facebook page is one place to look or add a comment.