Is it due to the Internet that we stoped buying Newspapers?

There is an ongoing debate around the future of “Newspapers” and much of it is related to the on-line world. The past few years the industry has experienced ongoing declines in circulation and advertising revenues. Much of this decline has been blamed by some ‘experts’ to the web and the shift of customers from buying the paper to browsing news on the Internet. Is that the real challenge they face?

Most newspapers have their on-line versions already deployed while others have shifted totally on-line. Some have seen success recovering some of their decline due to reduced circulation but there are many others that burn even more cash to maintain these news portals.

In our opinion the on-line world is neither a threat nor a migration place for Newspapers. It’s an opportunity for evolution and for complementing the major handicap of the print version, while maintaining its beauty and charm. In the modern era the paper version should focus on the depth and analysis of events that have taken place whereas the on-line portal should feed the customers with events as they are happening. The modern customer needs both but is not experiencing neither. Today, the industry survives primarily from advertising revenues and ultimately serves the ‘sponsors’ than their readers. Gradually the customers have started to feel ‘unimportant’ thus no longer support the newspapers by buying or subscribing. In some cases anonymous blogs appeal more reliable sources than large media groups, probably because the people hiding behind the anonymity serve their passion than corporate interests.

If the opportunity was correctly perceived, the web would never have ‘threatened’ the newspapers. The industry should probably re-think the value, power and limitations of each medium and its actual role – It reminds us the Google case – making the best search engine to sell advertising is slowly turning into a search engine that returns results that generate revenue than relevant to what the person is looking for…. Equally, offering free recycled or pre-fabricated content surrounded by plenty of advertising does not add much value. It spoils a portion of the customer base and annoys another leading to a reduced pie for everyone. Equally, asking people to pay subscriptions to get content which available even identical in many other sources is again not a very wise and effective

The situation that this industry is currently experiencing is not causing us though the same depression we feel e.g. from the decline in the car industry which means less car models in the next years or the ongoing monopoly in the computer Operating System industry which leads to a single option which is never bug-free. Less newspaper brands does not mean less news and does not mean lack of freedom. It means less recycled news and probably smaller companies with less effect on our freedom. The current status is very exciting as when even Mr Murdoch feels the heat it means that size does no longer matter much. Maye smaller news companies could emerge contributing to pluralism. Good passionate reporters, innovative delivery concepts and respect to the customer probably compensate the size issue and there is an enormous opportunity for profits based on the core value of the industry – reliable news and inspiring articles. Not content just to justify advertising

Comments are closed.