Gowers: bleak future for print

Former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers has ruled out returning to the helm of a national newspaper and given financial PROs a bleak vision of the future of print media.

Speaking last Thursday at the CIPR Corporate & Financial Group's annual dinner, Gowers told fellow guests that 'if anyone was foolish enough to offer me the print editorship of a newspaper again, I would say no'.

Last month Gowers was replaced as editor of the FT by US managing editor Lionel Barber.

Gowers said the important 18 to 25-year-old market's preference for online news and comment was already having an effect on print media. He said it was difficult to see who would pay for comment, adding that the backers of financial freesheet City AM  'have the right idea – there will be a lot more of this'.

Gowers pointed to what he saw as declining standards of journalism, partly due to the cost-cutting demanded by the shareholders of publishing companies and the rush to online news.

'If you think you have seen job cuts at the nationals in recent years, you ain't seen nothing yet,' Gowers said.

He warned the assembled City PROs: 'You will be dealing with increasingly harassed individuals who are on a treadmill and rarely get out of the office.'

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