Thursday, 10 November 2011

Conservative Home v The Daily Telegraph

I was somewhat surprised to set eyes on a Tory Diary link on Conservative Home - a paragon of online free thinking - on 19 October that bore the title "Tim Montgomerie: Why the Telegraph is 'sh*tbagging' me". An eye catching turn of phrase, indeed. The conclusion, drawn in the face of a number of rather spiteful Mandrake comments, was that this might be revenge for a tweeted criticism over an exaggerated Liam Fox article, or for suggesting Paul Dacre of the Mail was the most influential centre right journalist in Britain.

The comment thread touched upon some possible further explanations. But they may have missed quite a fundamental one. In days gone by, when the dead tree press was king, anyone asked where the best place was to find news about the Conservative Party would immediately reply: "The Daily Telegraph". Indeed some described the DT as the party's in-house magazine.

If the same question is asked today, however, the immediate response is far more likely to be: "Conservative Home". And of course ConHome would never in a thousand years want to be described as the party's in-house magazine, but that makes its daily content all the more appealing.

From my own perspective, having just e-published Hatred, Ridicule and Contempt, and being mindful of how Amazon are reporting on the growing success of Kindle books in comparison with their traditional paper rivals, I sense that there might just be one or two parallels with the battle for the Conservative news audience. And I sense it is one that ConHome is winning hands down.

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