Neil White: We'll move with the times while keeping loyal readers happy
I CAN'T remember having been in a better mood.
And who was responsible? You, the Telegraph's fantastic loyal readers.
The calls, supporting the newspaper, on a BBC Radio Derby phone-in last week, delighted me but also made me feel rather humble.
As the newspaper's editor, I am often so immersed in the daily production of the Telegraph that I take for granted getting the paper into your homes.
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Thus, hearing so many people saying how much it meant to them cheered me enormously and gave our staff even greater focus on delivering the best product possible.
To be honest, I had been a bit irritated by the radio station's reaction to the sale of our parent company, Northcliffe. It seemed the agenda of the breakfast show was to claim that the Telegraph would be turning from a daily into a weekly paper and that, in any case, it was irrelevant and poor value for money.
The first premise seemed to be based on a comment from the chief executive of Northcliffe who will also be the boss of the new company, Local World. Actually, Steve Auckland made it clear he couldn't foresee the Telegraph making a transition in the short-term (six months to a year) but he didn't know what might be the case in ten years' time. In context, his statement was perfectly fair.
Thinking back to 2002, who would have imagined that many of us would be receiving our news on mobile phones or that 30,000 people would be reading our news online every day?
Ten years ago, neither Facebook nor Twitter existed, so how can anyone predict what the media landscape will be in 2022?
Anyway, the fact is that the Derby Telegraph still has a strong daily audience. And if Radio Derby or anyone else doubted this it should pay heed to the calls which followed the news item about the sale and the interview with our managing director, Steve Hall.
Steve was measured, yet incisive, in his words. I have to admit I might have lost my cool in his position. I think it was interesting that he was repeatedly quizzed over the newspaper's value for money on the airwaves of a station which is funded by a compulsory contribution from taxpayers.
In other words, if our readers decide they no longer want to spend money on buying the Telegraph, they simply keep their cash in their pockets. But if listeners want to turn off BBC Radio Derby, they still have to pay their licence fee, regardless.
Also, I am completely convinced that our paper is still relevant in today's society. After all, BBC Radio Derby is not alone in taking our stories and using them as if they are its own – often days or even weeks after we have run them.
This also applies to television, national newspapers, magazines and websites. If we are irrelevant, how come our content is picked up by so many sources?
The fact is that we cannot be tied to the past.
Thus, Local World intends to expand our internet offering while running it in tandem with the newspaper. We intend both media to be compelling.
But the good news for the army of readers who love what we already do is, while moving with the times, we will not forget our heritage and all the traditional pages which you love.