The future of popular UK tabloid newspaper the Daily Mirror will be the subject of a University of Westminster conference later this month.

The web publishing strategy of the newspaper will be just one subject discussed by a panel of editors and journalists including Amanda Platell, former editor of the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Express, and Roy Greenslade, former Daily Mirror editor and professor of journalism at City University.

Journalist and lecturer Chris Horrie - author of Daily Mirror history 'Tabloid Nation' - will also be speaking. Ahead of the conference, Mr Horrie told dotJournalism that the newspaper is in crisis and lacks a coherent editorial direction.

There is also less opportunity to build a supportive web readership for tabloid newspapers because of the typical demographic nature of the readership.

"Tabloid newspapers don't transfer easily to the internet," he said.

"Much of the most popular content - particularly porn and football - is already plentiful online. The only successful tabloid experiments online have exploited those core elements."

Mr Horrie used the example of the Sun newspaper which cleverly managed to tone down the soft porn 'page 3' to attract more female readers, but which now uses the page to plug lucrative soft porn on its web site.

"There is a massive class divide online," he said.

"The average tabloid reader is male, older and on a low income - and much less likely to have internet access."

Mr Horrie declined to predict the future for the publication, though he conceded that the internet can only become increasingly important as web access becomes more widespread.

"It took 40 years for TV to become the dominant media force," he said.

"For most people, the web has only existed in the past two to three years, so it will take a long time to settle down."

For conference information, please contact

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