Sat - 25.11.2017

Dawson: Print newspapers going into extinction

Dawson: Print newspapers going into extinction

Ross Dawson, chairman of media industry analysts Future Exploration Network, predicts that newspapers in the United Kingdom will be "extinct" by 2019, as the job newspapers do will be transitioned to other channels, The Drum reported today. According to Dawson, print editions of papers will cease to exist by the end of the decade in some countries but will survive past 2040 in others.

Of course, Dawson isn't the first to predict the demise of print. And, as MediaGuardian's Roy Greenslade pointed out: "Anyone who has dared to put a date to the disappearance of newsprint has, naturally enough, suffered from much scorn."

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Dawson's Newspaper Extinction Timeline suggests that in the United States, print will die out by 2017. In the UK and Iceland, print may live up to 2019. Newspapers in their "current form" might become "irrelevant" in Canada and Norway in 2020. A significant part of Europe may see the demise of newsprint by 2030, he states.

"In the developed world, newspapers are in the process of becoming extinct, driven by rapidly changing use of media and revenues out of line with cost structures." Dawson explained, Market Wire reported. "In stark contrast, in many developing countries newspapers are growing rapidly. This is resulting in a rapid divergence in media markets around the world, changing how marketers build global campaigns."

Dawson expounded that the transformation will include digital paper that will encompass the qualities of print as well as the advantages of digital, The Australian informed. The growth of tablets and cheaper digital paper with "exceptional" features may also be one of the contributing factors to newsprint's irrelevance in the future.

On a global level, the cause of extinction may be due to the following, Dawson outlines:

- Increased cost performance of mobile phones

- Increased cost performance of tablets/ e-readers

- Development of high performance digital paper

- Changes in newsprint and print production costs

- Uptake of digital news monetization mechanisms

- Trends in advertising spend and allocation

- Development of open platforms

Image: Adlan Khalidi

The Newspaper Extinction Timeline and the full list of factors affecting newsprint's future can be found here.

But not everyone agrees with Dawson.

"The way that people get their information is changing, but newspapers usually have more reporters than all other organizations combined in almost every community and no one covers local news better. Newspapers will continue to report the news that is relevant to their community. We can be assured of continued change, but we can also expect that newspapers will be around tomorrow, providing local information better than everyone else in a multitude of options," a column by Dean Ridings, president and CEO of the Florida Press Association, stated last month.

Commenter Wendy Maybury, a photographer, pointed out that Dawson did not take into consideration that some people prefer reading a printed newspaper over digital. Perhaps not always, but at least sometimes.

And while Dawson predicts the death of print in Finland for 2021, Finnish commenter Sakari Kestinen disagreed: "I would be VERY surprised if this vision will be true for Finland. We Finns are perhaps the most newspaper subscribing folk on Earth and most of us are really conservative. Subscribed newspaper, delivered to the mailbox until 6 AM is an important cultural thing, inseparable from our breakfast tables. It's like saying that (in principle superior) "Energy drinks / takeaway latte[s] will replace the plain old morning coffee by 2021."


Alisa Zykova


2010-11-01 23:31

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