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Blogging, Newspapers, Technology

Newspapers facing a digital death?

If you’re a journalist, as I am, you are probably worried about the future of newspapers and journalism in general. The net, the loss of advertising revenue and general fragmentation of readers means has had a damaging effect on readership, revenues and jobs. The answer? Well, from what I’ve read, there’s no simple, or single, answer.

John Paton writes about how to save newspapers Old Dogs New Tricks and Crappy Newspaper Executives on his Digital First blog and says he’s embraced the net and faced up to the realities of newspaper publishing and the internet. But this long-time journo has some interesting ideas: namely, involving local citizens, going digital first and working as a brand. I think it’s a hyped in its dire predictions but he puts some good ideas.

Online stories today that do not link are now considered inferior by consumers. News companies, as brands, cheapen and destroy themselves if they do not allow the social interaction that society now demands of the new digital tool set.

Marshall McLuhan knew this when he said the Medium Is The Message.

In the news business, particularly a legacy business like newspapers, if we don’t understand this and take advantage of the Medium’s potential we will cease to be the Messenger.

And it is in this role of Messenger that we have tied up our ideas of brand values.

Such as:

– A Messenger the community can trust.

– A Messenger known for its accuracy, integrity, etc.

But what does it mean to be the Messenger in today’s new news ecology where the people we used to call the Audience are now equally participants, competitors, colleagues, arbiters and sources?

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about newspapers in the internet age. My last blog post Newspapers in the Internet Age talked about ideas for how newspapers can survive into the future. I guess I am worried about my future career, if you were wondering. I don’t think this will be the last post on this topic.



3 thoughts on “Newspapers facing a digital death?

  1. Hi, I work in a Library so print is pretty important to us as well. How we consume our media and information is heavily audience driven. I subscribe to two newspapers (print) however I read most of my news online. I do so like the feel of paper though and the printed word that I would not give them up.
    Looking forward to seeing your other blog as well!
    Take care.

    Posted by iRuniBreathe | 14 June 2012, 12:40 am
    • I love the feel of paper also. I have an internal pendulum: the more I access and read online kind of also makes me love traditional books and magazines even more. I love the ease and accessibility of online news and magazine but at the same time it’s so nice to pick up a printed book and not be constantly drawn away by Twitter, email or surfing as I often am when reading on the net.

      Posted by PaleInk | 18 June 2012, 3:48 pm
      • Really interesting artcle. I wonder what will happen to the newsagents? Will they also disappear off High St or will they diversify in some digital way. The paperboy’s days are also numbered…this was my first job and my eldest son’s first job as well. The Chaser did a funny skit tossing ipad’s from a car on a morning paper drop with disasterous results for the technology!

        Posted by teachit | 1 July 2012, 7:27 am

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