The changes of Telegraaf Media Groep

Telegraaf Media Groep is undergoing changes. According to an article [1] by Villamedia, Hugo Schneider (63) will be the new editor in chief for the regional newspapers of the Dutch media company. His primary task: change the websites and the physical newspapers. With less people.

How is he going to accomplish this goal? Well, he wants less website editions and less newspaper editions. Both the physical and the digital content will have to be focussed on “above-local” news. The provincial level – the province Noord-Holland, in this case – needs to be more prevalent, according to Schneider. This is supposed to result in content that is relevant for all the local communities.[2]

Under Schneider’s leadership, the content will be shifting away from locally focussed news articles, produced by a relatively big group of journalists who each have their individual focus. In fact, Witschge and Nygren (2009) describe similar phenomena. In their analysis of journalism as an increasingly challenging profession, they describe how the journalistic work is progressively becoming “planned”[4]. Also, they state that there is less and less room for the individual focus of the journalist.[5]

To me, Schneider’s plans sound as a loss. The charm of many regional newspapers lies in the fact that they cover specific topics that might not be relevant for the entirety of the country, but that are of high importance for smaller, local communities. In order to cover such topics, a larger amount of journalist is needed: journalists who each have the liberty to write about what they consider to be news, without being lead with a plan that doesn’t allow them to. Of course, for now we can only speculate on how Schneider’s plans will work out. But my hopes are not high.

Pien Goutier

[1] Rogmans, Dolf. “Hugo Schneider hoofdredacteur: krant en website op de schop.” Villamedia, 12 oktober 2017, https://www.villamedia.nl/artikel/hugo-schneider-hoofdredacteur-krant-en-website-op-de-schop (accessed 12 October 2017)

[2] Witschge, Tamara, and Gunnar Nygren. “Journalistic Work: a profession under pressure?.” Journal of Media Business Studies6.1 (2009): 37-59.

[3] Ibid. p. 43.

[4] Ibid. p. 43.

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