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Reasons to be cheerful

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Reasons to be cheerful

The old joke used to go: how do you become a millionaire? Start with a billion then buy a football club.

Lord Lebedev, newly ennobled proprietor of the Evening Standard, just offered an update in his maiden speech.

“I will…be able to teach the House how to make a small fortune,” he said. “You start with a very large fortune and then buy a newspaper.” He added, “Newspaper publishing also seems to me like printing money – and then giving it away outside Tube stations.”

Thanks boss, picked us all right up there.

And he isn’t quite giving away money outside Tube stations, though I daresay if he stapled £5 notes to each copy circulation would increase.

Two thoughts.

1) I think the era when newspapers made tons of money was a historical blip, a statistical fluke. Doing the news has always been much more expensive than almost anyone was willing to pay for it. The Times has, I think, made an annual profit precisely twice since 1788. That’s not what it is for.

2) I think there’s cause for optimism here. I’d like to say the Sun is starting to shine, but in truth it’s pissing it down. Metaphorically though, things are picking up.

There are definitely more journalism jobs going now than a year ago, and if most of them aren’t in print newspapers, so what?

You can tell things are moving when there’s a sudden merry-go-round on papers and they start racing to keep the talent they want. Money they did not have, magically appears…

That’s definitely happening. For flaks hoping we will all one day go away, bad luck.

For those who think they need us to justify their own fees, I think you can start buying the drinks again.

Press release of the day

A good initiative here from Morrisons, which increasingly looks like it can be relied upon to do the right thing.

CEO David Potts says entrepreneurs should apply to a new programme called Growing British Brands.

The grocer will give space on its shelves and its website, other support and expert advice.

What’s not to like?


Embargo: Do not read this before 5.01pm precisely

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