In the third and final part of our Predictions trilogy, we reveal the key issues for newspapers, magazines and the world of television in 2013…
The press had a torrid time in 2012. It was a year dogged by arrests of journalists over hacking claims and then the Leveson report, which not only came up with the spectre of statutory backed press regulation but brought the whole nightmare up again.
This year is the time when newspapers have to get their houses in order. Privately they have already done so and for a long time – after all, there isn’t a single newspaper that wants to see a repeat of the News of the World fiasco. As a result the past year has seen papers regulate themselves – so strictly there have been noticeably fewer ‘exposes’ and exclusives. This is something set to continue. After all, no-one has endless buckets of cash to spend on lots of journalists spending days or weeks uncovering some wrong-doing only to find there’s a legal problem and your big splash won’t be printed after all…
For some reason people imagine a tightening of the press means less ‘celebrity’ stories in newspapers. But if you’re not a celeb fan, prepare to be disappointed – because in 2013 we predict you could see more celeb stories. Yes they might not be the old-style ‘kiss and tell’ stories (because anyone with money can now take out a court injunction, plead privacy and stop that in its tracks) but they are likely to be ‘self puffs.’ Think tweeting a photo of yourself after you’ve undergone an op, revealing your sadness over your recent relationship breakup on Twitter. This, if you are the celebrity behind it, will hopefully be reported – and then you can appear in an ‘exclusive.’
Unfortunately, just as papers get back on track, in the Autumn of 2013 the court trials of some journalists are due to begin – reminding everyone once again of the sins of the past. Thankfully by then papers will definitely have something to report as the Duchess of Cambridge should have given birth. This is set to be THE BIG STORY OF 2013 and will dominate more pages of the national press than you can imagine as every decision is dissected – from the birth, to what Kate and baby wear, to comparisons with past Royals. If you aren’t interested in babies or the Royal family then tough as they sell papers…
For television, 2012 was its best and worst year ever. Best because there was the Jubilee Celebrations and then the Olympics so never have so many hours of must-see TV been filled so easily. And how brilliantly both were done! But sadly the Jimmy Savile horror epic put a huge dampener on any celebrations the BBC in particular must have planned.
The Jimmy Savile story isn’t over – expect this one to keep on popping up throughout the early part of 2013 especially.
And then the question is what will there be to watch without these extravaganzas in 2013? The pressure will be on in 2013 for Television to come up with new ideas, or at the very least brilliant rehashes on old ones.
Pressure is mostly on the BBC. Because we all pay a licence fee, it has to come up with the goods. And then ITV needs to take a good look at some of its shows such as X Factor and see how they can be made more appealing. It must also take a good look at how many adverts it allows on TV. Yes, we know it needs them to pay its way but too many more and there could be a massive switch OFF.
We hope that 2013 will therefore mean less obvious manipulating of TV audiences and that any ‘reality’ TV will be genuine – this should help regain trust in TV which unfortunately in 2012 slipped.
Meanwhile, the trend to watching TV on your computer is set to continue – and we predict increasingly, this will be the way most viewers choose to watch programmes.
Having gone through some turbulent years, magazines have shown that they have the staying power and that women still love them. We see magazines firming up their positions in 2013 by ensuring they are seen as a bigger presence on the internet.
Although many magazines do have great websites, the weeklies have been slower to get online properly. Many have fab Facebook pages – but we believe this will be the year that those magazines devote more time to their own websites.
Expect more apps to be developed for weekly real-life mags as more of their core readers search for them using iPads or other tablets.
Finally… by the end of 2013 we believe paid-for content could be back on the agenda. Although many newspaper websites have vowed to remain free for users, as more people choose to get their news via free websites, this could change. Advertising on websites has not proved as lucrative as everyone hoped so the good ‘free view’ times might have to end…