A fair bit of press for Simon Kelner’s ‘cautious luddite’ attitude to technology, as highlighted in a recent interview with the media guardian.
Rather than poke a stick at the more obvious parts of his gruff, ink-stained editor stance, which seems to me to be as much about image as substance. I thought his view of his own website was more telling.
He does, however, concede that when compared with those of his better-resourced rivals, the Independent’s website is a poorer, almost neglected, product. “We’re aware that it needs to improve and this year we will be investing quite a lot of resources into it,” he says. “It’s being redesigned, it’ll have bells and whistles attached to it and we know that we need to step up our game on the internet. But I’ll tell you one thing, our internet presence makes a profit. Tell me how many newspaper websites can say that?”
My answer to that would be – the successful ones.
Of course, the received wisdom in the industry is that websites have to make some money but there are few people who still believe that the main goal of a website is to generate a profit. Most people are banking on a medium term strategy of helping build audience and extend revenue, not self-sufficiency.
Perhaps it speaks volumes for Kelner’s policy that despite being in profit, the website is almost universally criticised and his papers popularity is in decline.