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Free Press crammed with Adverts

category national | arts and media | other press author Monday October 10, 2005 14:52author by iosaf seething. Report this post to the editors

"worse than tabloids"

By now many of you will seen a copy of the two "free newspapers" launched this morning in Dubiln.

& you will be aware of the court wranglings which led to the change of name of the Herald AM.

"Metro" was originally launched 10 years ago, in Sweden but its name has been copied wherever people have underground trains. & in the case of Dublin - "double decker omnibuses".

its main international rival "20 minutes" was launched in Switzerland and Germany in 1999.

They dominate a global readership (concentrated in Europe) of 14.5 million commuters. And it is estimated produce 21million copies daily, and the advertising executives will tell you that means 2 readers for every copy.

_______________________________________

Very interestingly There are no free papers in Norway (home of Schibsted), Luxemburg (home of Metro), Turkey and several eastern European countries. The "Metro" name is used by several competing companies with international presence. The Irish "metro" is not the same company as the market leader.

I hate them. & for very good reasons.
1. the waste of paper.
2. the poor unfortuanates I see every morning at the metro station in the logo coats and precarious wages whose "gainful employment" means competing to thrust some printed froth in my hand, so I can litter the train.
3. they have served to consolidate the commercialisation of news interest and editorial stances. All to often the "first free" page seen will effect the "broadsheet" opinion/ comment after.

We in indymedia top their daily readership figures and attempt to collate and present news in a non-corporate way. But what different readerships.
I have seen their "one paragraph" news report style infect radio, tv, and quality journalism.

Barcelona where I live has 3 rivals with combined distribution of 2.8million, and there daily regurgitation of "reuters news alert" makes Fox TV look like an open university lecture on quantum mechanics back in the B&W telly days.

These rags waste huge amounts of paper, & reduce interest in current affairs, international politics, criticism, opinion to the lowest common denominator. Already I have learnt that printing pulp adverts for the public of dublin will "employ" 24 people.

With only one local exception their stance and pitch has been completely true to "free market economics" the exception was In the lead-up to the last US presidential election, Metro launched as an "anti-Bush" morning sheet in New York.

From September 2005 Ireland had a evening FT example:-
FTpm
September 2005
Dublin
pub.: Pearson (Financial Times)
circulation : not available.

And today the "rivals" of Ireland's print media see launched:-

Metro
October 2005 ->
Dublin
pub.: Associated Newspapers, Metro International, Irish Times
circulation : 50.000

Herald AM
October 2005 ->
Dublin
pub.: Independent News & Media (Evening Herald)
circulation : not available.

________________________________________

The university of Amsterdam under Piet Bakker has undertaken a study of these papers.
check out the site to see all the global banners, examples and learn a bit more:-
http://users.fmg.uva.nl/pbakker/freedailies/index.html

author by iosafpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 14:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Strange they won't tolerate the litter in their home state isn't it?

anyway here's their press statement on their launch.-

"PARTNERSHIP TO LAUNCH METRO IN IRELAND

Associated Newspapers Limited and Metro International S.A. today announced that they have reached an agreement to develop and launch an Irish edition of Metro in partnership with The Irish Times Limited.

Metro to be launched in Dublin today is a venture between Metro International, which introduced the Metro phenomenon ten years ago and is now the fastest growing newspaper group in the world, Associated Newspapers, which has successfully developed the Metro brand to be the fourth largest daily newspaper in the UK and the Irish Times Limited, publishers of The Irish Times and ireland.com, Ireland's leading news and information website.

"Dublin is one of Europe's leading capitals. It is a dynamic and changing city. It is our belief that Metro will complement the busy lifestyles of Dubliners and will give advertisers an effective platform to reach a highly desirable demographic," said Pelle Tornberg, CEO, Metro International. "Furthermore, this venture builds on our long-standing advertising partnership with Associated Newspaper's Metro edition in the UK. The revenue from international advertising campaigns is growing strongly and this Irish venture will add to Metro International's already unique international footprint".

Metro International will initially own 10% and Associated Newspapers 90% of the share capital in the newly created venture. Subject to any requisite competition clearance, the parties intend to form a venture in which Metro International holds an option to increase its ownership up to 33.3% and Associated Newspapers and The Irish Times will hold the remainder of the equity in equal parts. The Irish Times will also print the newspaper.

Steve Auckland, Managing Director, Metro UK said, "Dublin is a great city with a high proportion of urbanites who we believe will really value the Metro package. They will enjoy the concise, no-spin news, city living and lifestyle features and make full use of its local entertainment and listing information. Since launching six years ago, we have successfully attracted a new generation of newspaper readers, many of whom did not previously read a daily paper, and we are confident that this trend will continue in Dublin. This will be great for advertisers, providing them with a new opportunity to target a highly valuable audience who are hard to reach with traditional and established media."

Maeve Donovan, Managing Director of the Irish Times welcomed the venture saying "Dublin is the latest significant European city to make a daily edition of Metro available to its young urban professionals. The Irish Times has always believed in the need to embrace market change. We are forming a partnership with two very successful international publishers in bringing Metro - a publishing success story - to Ireland."

Dublin is a rapidly expanding city. In 2002 Dublin had a population of 1.2 million according to the CSO Census and its population is expected to grow to 1.76 million by 2011. The total advertising market in 2004 was estimated to be worth €1.37 billion in gross number of which press accounted for €928 million or 68%.

Lee Thompson, Managing Director of Metro in Ireland added, "This represents a new era for newspapers in this market. Dublin is a young, vibrant, and growing city, which matches the Metro brand perfectly. Metro-style newspapers are the fastest growing newspapers in the world and the Dublin edition of Metro will be the latest installment in what has become a global publishing phenomenon."

The Irish edition of Metro, the first issue of which was launched today, will be distributed free of charge each morning by hand and from racks at strategic locations throughout Dublin. The newspaper will target a young, active, metropolitan readership and provide Metro's distinctive blend of local, national and international news and information.

For further information, please contact;
For Metro International: Henrik Persson, +46-70-762-0087, henrik.persson@metro.lu
For Associated Newspapers: Steve Auckland, +44-207-7651-5346, steve.auckland@ukmetro.co.uk
For The Irish Times: Maeve Donovan, +353-(0)1-675 8000, mdonovan@irish-times.ie
For Metro in Ireland: Gerry O'Sullivan/Alison Mills +353-(0)1-475 1444, gerry@q4pr.ie
/ amills@q4pr.ie

About Metro International

Metro is the largest and fastest growing international newspaper in the world. 57 daily Metro editions are published in 81 major cities in 18 countries in 18 languages across Europe, North & South America and Asia. Metro has a unique global reach - attracting a young, active, well-educated audience of 16.8 million daily readers and 35 million weekly readers. Metro has an equal number of male and female readers and 70% are under the age of 45. Metro's advertising sales have grown at a compound annual rate of 47% since the launch of the first edition in 1995.

Metro International S.A. 'A' and 'B' shares are listed on the Stockholmsbörsen 'O-List' under the symbols MTROA and MTROB.

About Metro UK

Metro is the UK's fourth largest national daily paper. Since its launch in March 1999 Metro has expanded from 80,000 copies in London to over 1 million copies across 13 cities. Metro is designed and written for young, affluent urban commuters providing a 20 minute informative and entertaining read. This is reflected in the paper's readership profile. Metro has 1.8 million daily readers of which 67% are ABC1 and 74% are under 45 years old. Metro made an operating profit in its fourth year and this has grown substantially in the two subsequent years. Advertising growth has averaged 18% per year over the last three years.

About The Irish Times

The Irish Times was established in 1859; the first edition was published on Tuesday, 29th March 1859. The Irish Times has since earned an international reputation as Ireland's quality daily newspaper. News reporting from throughout Ireland is accompanied by reports from a comprehensive network of foreign correspondents, as well as sports and business coverage, features and arts sections, lifestyle, jobs and property. Each issue contains well-informed background analysis and assessment of the events of the day, and diversity of debate in the daily opinion columns.

The Irish Times enjoys an audited circulation of 117,543. (Source: ABC January - June 2005). It has an all-adult readership of 335,000 with 80% of its readership in the important ABC1 demographic grouping. (Source: JNRS 2005)"

************************************
Now add your comments was your rag good?

author by Mark C - Teacherpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 17:18author email mark at markconroy dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Isn't it amazing? A free press designed specifically for the free market. A well written press release regarding a free "news" paper with no mention of news. A "news" paper geared towards advertising (I know they all are, but at least the others try to pretend they have an agenda) and nothing besides - no mention of the type of news to be reported or the critical angle to be taken.

Consume and Die.

author by iopublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 20:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've just come home now after work, and was thinking about this morning's post, and the situation we have in ireland where political groups were stopped publicising the Rossport protest by the application of a "litter order". I asked one cleaner in the metro station if she could give me a rough idea of how many of the bins shes changes everyday (barcelona has bins unlike london's tube where there covered to discourage bombs) consist wholly or mostly of thrown away "throw away" advertising called news.

she said most of her day is spent tidying away this thrash. Hardly scientific research but it got me thinking.

I doubt very much that either Metro or the Herald are going to pay additional rates or put a % of their advertising revenue to cover the increased litter. Yet in the process they undermine "the idea" of journalism and journalistic practise with their deft slogans of "spin-free" reporting.

I hope people monitor the waste in Dublin.
an estimated production of 21 million copies worldwide everyday means over a 100 million copies a week. Over 5 billion copies a year. "free advertising" mounts up to a huge amount of pulp paper. I'd love to know how many trees are needed for 5 billion copies of the TV listings.

author by Michaelpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 21:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The more press the better. All Irish newspapers are filled with advertising, advertorials, and barely edited press releases.

The good thing though about these new papers is that it's generally easier to get your stories published in a local advertising/newspaper than in the regional or national papers. The Limerick Post has printed/reported on more stories critical of Shannon's use as a U.S. airbase than the three national broadsheets combined. And its not because they're lefties, or because the people of Limerick who read that paper or lefties either.

The Irish Times is a newspaper of record. When they print stories there's generally an idiological dimension to it. Far less so for papers which (a) take journalism less seriously, and (b) take themselves less seriously. I doubt the managers of Metro in Luxemberg will be writing to any embassies in Dublin to apoligise about "white niggers" on their staff.

author by iopublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 21:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But I think you'll find they will reproduce news you can get just as easily through yahoo, google, msn, reuters news alerts or staying up and watching CNN/Fox/Sky tv.
A advertising paper which avoids any article over 500 words in length is hardly the place for a young journalist to get their foot on the ladder. And these giants, Metro and 20 minutes can undercut the advertising rates of small local papers which tend to be weekly affairs with relatively neutral "local interest" fillers. Hence the limerick attention to Shannon but utter contempt for the Eoin Rice case.
I assure you, we've had them a few years here, (in BCN) and we've noticed the subtle change in how the "lumpen public" react to news. Indymedia (&/or imc ireland) or Wikinews are as much a national archive as the Irish Times at this point. Its free, its searchable, and tends to get the facts right even if the details are spun. The difference is we just don't sell you email accounts, but we will ask you to write a letter to Luxembourg (or London) complaining about the wanton waste of paper on a global level and the pollution of Dublin on a local level.

Metro International SA
1, Boulevard Royal
L-2449 Luxembourg
Company registration number: B 73790

Metro International
3rd Floor, Interpark House
7 Down Street
London
W1J 7AJ
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 20 7016 1300
Fax: +44 20 7016 1400

Or you could be sneaky PR and just write them to the Evening Herald / Irish Times / Sacred Heart Messenger - and see who publishes it.

author by Mark C - Teacherpublication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 13:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are only two, as far as I know, local papers that are owned by local families in Ireland at the moment (see Village Magazine two issues ago). A huge number of them belonging to the Leinster Leader Group were sold recently to (I think) the Daily Mail group, which means a more centralised ownership of the local news. And I'll bet we'll see advertising rates going up because with one group owning maybe twenty papers they can claim to be reaching a more holistic demographic and hence charge more for the advertising space. This will, in turn, mean that local advertisers will not be able to afford to advertise in their local papers and the spin off will be that more irrelevant "news" will be editorialised at the expense of local issues. If the papers could fill 100% of space with advertisements they would. I think Noam Chomsky's (and lets not get into a thread about Chomsky again) Manufacturing Consent is going to start becoming even more relevant in Ireland - we are, after all, usually about 20 years behind the Americans on these kinds of issues.

The news is dead. Long live the news.

Mark Conroy.

author by yawnpublication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Daily newspaper make most revenue from advertising. I wonder how a free sheet is going to fund itself?

Yawn. Whats to point of even trying to point this out?

author by gurggle.publication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 20:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Most daily newspapers occupy their market niche through historical connections with certain social interests or in some cases by their very institutional character achieved by age, and the notion of presenting a "record".
Since we put cyber-anarchy in your living room through the net, this is all utter shite.
The free newspaper proves the axiom that the commercial media only seeks advertising revenue.
Both the IT and Herald owners have increased revenue, but perversely compared to the EU market, they have associated themselves with the freepapers, which are they saying :-
"our bigger paper is worth the money you're used to pay, if you don't read it now, you will! you will!"?
or
"we sell advertising on a daily basis with a little news thrown in, and we've identified workers in transit as a niche market".

Whichever, Indymedia and Wikinews statistics confirm what was observed years ago. In the evening time when you come home from work / school / wherever you were - you log on.
& here is where you read and interact with the news thus being rather than consuming the media.
Go on interact
add your comment

author by Mark C - Teacherpublication date Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes yawn you are right. No need to state the obvious. We all knew that. Some of us have even worked for free "news papers" (such as local event guides). I think the argument is that these things call themselves newspapers rather than advertising slots or hand help billboards. Yaaaaawwwwnnnn.

Mark.

author by Irish Asimov - nonepublication date Wed May 24, 2006 01:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Unfortunately, free sheets like Metro and Herald Am are the changing face of journlaism in many parts of the world. Gone are the days when a reporter could get a damning report on a big business (who advertises) past an editor. There isn't a paper in the world that doesn't rely on advertising for the revenue.
I don't think these papers are trying to say that they are in existance to titilate readers' minds, but they have actually been upfront of what they are - mind-numbing brain candy for hung-over semi-professionals on their way to a dreay job and don't have the time or energy to pick up a broadsheet of The Indo.
If you look at these type of Metro-style papers over the world, they are becoming increasingly popular. I suspect you will see most papers becoming free sheets in 20 years. Don't forget that people can get their news in various forms easier now than ever. And then what will be left.... advertising revenue.
I always put mine in the garbage when I'm done and if they provided a recycling bin, I would go out of my way to put it in there.
Either way, I like having a bit of free news to go with my coffee and if I want more I'll pick up a copy of The Irish Times or The Indo, or check the Internet, the radio, the TV.......
You may knock it, but I bet their advertisers and many readers (see above) love it and for those facts alone, Metro and the like will be around for a while yet.

author by Epoch Times Readerpublication date Wed May 24, 2006 07:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A new newspaper allegedly run by Falun Gong practitioners started up last year in Dublin, it is distributed for free door to door on the North side. They claim to aspire to very high journalistic standards:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/aboutus.html

I know that they are always looking for contributions to different sections and especially their opinion section once its in line with their mission statement above. So if you want to get your opinion in print, aswell as on line submit an article to news@epochtimes.ie.

The paper was originally a chinese paper so it has a lot of content about China www.theepochtimes.com but in the last two years it has surfaced in 30 cities and is published in nine languages and is looking to make a footprint in Ireland.

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