Ed Douglas on: the future of media

Posted by on 22/12/2011
Inside the media HQ that is Ed Douglas's office. Photo: Alex Messenger.

Welcome to the new BMC website. Whilst we squash bugs, here's BMC VP and journo Ed Douglas with his thoughts on media, the outdoors and milk.

Tell people you’re a journalist right now and they’ll say one of two things, and sometimes relate them to each other. Either they’ll make a joke about not hacking their phone, or they’ll say that newspapers are finished. Sometimes they’ll say newspapers are finished because the media has lost the public’s trust over phone hacking.

Things are never that simple. Next month, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Centre for the Digital Future will release a report predicting that almost all print newspapers in America will be gone in five years. The report predicts only the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the Washington Post will still be left to make your fingers inky.

I’m willing to bet a fair amount of cash that prediction is wrong, but there’s no doubt that the sprint from print is quickening, as newspapers and magazines rush online to take advantage of tablet computers. Those climbing magazines that come up with the best tablet format the fastest will prosper.

The BMC isn’t immune from this process and has worked hard over recent months to update its online presence and meet some of the challenges facing all organisations trying to keep pace with the publishing revolution that is transforming the media. Our new website is just part of that process.

But there’s more to this than how we publish. I’m guessing there’s a carton of milk in your fridge. I’m also guessing the milk in your fridge is pretty much the same as the milk when you were young and your mum was buying dodgy cereals with too many additives. The big difference now is how it arrives – from a supermarket rather than delivered by a bloke who whistles too much and looks a lot like your younger brother.

Information is still pretty much the same. Just as we still needed politics after the expenses scandal, people will always want to know more about the world as it is, no matter if those stories are delivered on paper or on a screen. The BMC’s new website is really just a starting point in making what the BMC does more visible. Enjoy.



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1) Anonymous User
24/12/2011
Great article Ed. Is there a way that the BMC website aggregates stories, or a forum to allow members to interact? It would encourage member contributions and interactions, making them feel more valued
2) Anonymous User
03/01/2012
Thanks for a great article. Ive been in the newspaper industry for 20 years and I could not agree more. There is a transition coming to an end between print media and online content, but the need for quality accurate news will always be there.
Keep up the good work.
3) Alex Messenger(staff comment)
18/01/2012
Thank you for your comments. All articles are aggregated at www.thebmc.co.uk/articles (click “news” on the homepage). There are also RSS feeds which you can sign up to. We’re already seeing greater interaction from members through the introduction of these comment boxes – the most commented articles for each work area appear on the right hand side of each webpage. We have a forum in the Local Areas/Community site section, although this is a bit hidden at the moment - see http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Forum. Also, the BMC Area forum is still running on UKClimbing.com/UKHillwalking.com so members can continue to get involved there too. Hope this helps!

Posted by Tina Gardner, BMC Press & PR Officer
4) Anonymous User
22/01/2012
Ed, you can't be so young that you cannot recall what real milk was like. Not the packaging - the milk! Real milk goes sour while it is still a liquid. Today's junk goes into a disgusting, thick, slimy, smelly jelly, by-passing the liquid stage. People out there are playing games with our food.....Geoff Tyson
5) Anonymous User
22/01/2012
You should not accept anonymous comments!

But, sorry, I had to post mine as "Anonymous" because there doesn't seem to be a way of registering and, therefore, loggin-in. GT.
6) Anonymous User
22/01/2012
We're currently in the process of linking this site to the BMC Community and BMC Shop sites. The idea is users will only require one set of login details to access all BMC sites.

If you were a member of the Community site back in December, you should be able to use these details when posting a comment.

One reason for accepting anonymous comments is it reduces the barrier to participate in a discussion, and those not a member of the Community site can still participate.

I accept posting anonymously is open to abuse, but thus far there has been remarkably little spam, and no abuse. This is under constant review, and guess may well be disabled once the BMC sites share the same user login details.

Thanks for your comment, and in the mean time if you spot any abuse/spam feel free to use the 'Report abuse' link in the comment in question, or contact me directly.

Cheers,
Chris (chris at thebmc.co.uk)

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