Clive Marshall, CEO of the PA Media Group

Clive Marshall (CEO of PA Media Group): Independent, impartial, trusted news agencies are the perfect antidote to disinformation

PA Media Group's Clive Marshall believes that changes in UK's media sector will be faster and faster and points to diversification as a key strategic direction for media companies that want to stay healthy financially. 

The PA Media Group’s activity went through some changes lately due to the corona-crisis. Could you point out the most important of them? Might those be permanent changes?

There were many changes that we had to make as a result of the pandemic. Two of the most important were the switch to home working and migrating our news wire customers to our PA Explore platform to enable easy access to all the PA Media content on a single platform.

It is now clear that all the PA Media Group operations can work remotely. I expect that home working will become integral to how we operate in the future. We have also decided, on the basis of our home working experience to close a number of our smaller offices and move the employees based there to permanent home working.

How do you see the future of media in the UK? Any possible threats to PA coming from the changing media landscape?

The UK news media market place is very diverse and highly competitive. Fragmentation in audiences and the move to digital consumption, accelerated by the COVID-19 lockdown, combined with pressure on advertising revenue will continue to create enormous challenges and opportunities for both traditional and digital news media. The media landscape has always been one of continual change, the difference now is that the timescales for that change is becoming shorter and shorter. To avoid any threats PA Media must continue to have a laser focus on the needs of its customers.

PA Media Group is always diversifying - where does this now situate the newswire as part of the larger business?

The PA Media newswire is the beating heart of the company around which all our other businesses are built.

Do you see news agencies assuming a role in fighting disinformation?

Independent, impartial, trusted news agencies are the perfect antidote to disinformation.

Can you point out some key directions to be followed by news agencies in order to maintain relevance on the global media market?

For commercial news agencies like PA, that rely on the sale of their services for 100% of their income, financial strength is critical to ensure that we have the resources needed to support and evolve the news agency. We believe that diversification plays a critical role in delivering this financial strength. 

Interview by Alexandru Giboi (EANA Secretary General) for the "EANA Top Voices" project.