In these sorts of discussions it’s often very easy to forget the most important people : THE AUDIENCE. We can get bogged down in navel-gazing and forget that without our listeners, our viewers, our online visitors, we’d be out of a job. So Chris and I went to Falmouth town to find how are the audience reacting to the changes in multi-platform delivery?
Following the rise of the Internet, newspapers around the world have seen revenues rapidly decline as more and more readers get news for free on the web. The rapid decline of traditional daily newspapers has led to increasing concern over the future of print journalism in the era of instant communications.
In a recent editorial entitled “How to Save Your Newspaper” published in Time magazine, the magazine’s former managing editor Walter Isaacson called on Internet surfers to overcome their opposition to paying for news content. Isaacson correctly noted that webizens have gradually managed to overcome their reluctance to pay for music and electronic books. According to Isaacson, relying on Internet advertising alone to keep traditional news organizations in business will not succeed. As he pointed out, news organizations that tradtionally relied on three sources of income — sales, subscriptions and advertising — now mostly rely on advertising to stay afloat.
While readership for news content producers has continued to grow, reliance on only one of these three sources of income has made news organizations more beholden to advertisers. And since much of the Internet advertising revenue has to be shared with search engines and other web hosts, relying on banner ads and pop-ups alone is not sufficient to support the high costs of running traditional print news outlets.
Isaacson has suggested perfecting a new kind of system of paying for content that would allow web surfers to quickly and easily pay small amounts for the content they consume. We agree that a system enabling users to easily hand over pennies for the content they want to see would go a long way toward persuading Internet surfers that paying for news content is worthwhile. But until such a system is up and running, print news organizations, and especially newspapers, will continue struggling just to survive. As Isaacson noted in his editorial, more Americans got their news online for free last year than they did paying for it by purchasing newspapers or magazines.
We also agree that traditional print reporting urgently needs to find a new source of revenue in order to avoid becoming beholden to advertisers, or worse, going out of business. We believe that many of the arguments raging about free news content over the Internet had also been made in the early days of radio and television news reporting.
With the exception of minimal fees that cable TV subscribers pay for basic cable services or satellite radio fees that subscribers in countries like the U.S. pay, the vast majority of people listening to radio news or watching news on television still do not pay a cent for the content they are receiving.
Nonetheless, broadcast journalism has managed to flourish over recent decades, carving out its own niche at the expense of traditional print journalism outlets. However, the current situation still differs from the 20th century emergence of broadcasting. With the advent of the Internet and the “cut-and-paste” culture that surrounds its use, we are seeing more and more of the same content being “printed” and “re-printed” over and over again on countless web sites.
Even though the public has access to more news media outlets today than ever before, the content being carried on these outlets generally originates from just a few sources, mostly wire services and a small handful of influential newspapers. If the public wants to continue to enjoy access to adequate local news and first-hand quality reporting from bureaus around the world, this will simply not be possible in an era where Internet sites merely regurgitate content originating out of just a few resources.
But until web surfers are persuaded that they need to pay for news content, and until better ways are worked out for revenue-generating advertising not to annoy Internet news consumers, the future for news content producers will continue to be bleak. In the end, we would like to see an “easy pay” system established making it easy and painless for readers to pay in small amounts as they surf around for content. But even setting aside the revenue problem, we also worry that Internet news sources make it all too easy for readers to filter out undesirable news.
The traditional role that newspapers have played in setting the news agenda is being rapidly eroded as users frequently only read the kinds of news that they want to read. This is leading toward increased political polarization, as people tend to read the kinds of stories they are interested in or agree with, while all but ignoring events that don’t match their taste buds. Other people are simply becoming isolated, unaware of important events that fail to turn up on their radar screens.
While TV and radio remain important, newspapers have traditionally played the most important role in setting the news agenda, as printed stories tend to contain more content and depth than their broadcast counterparts. If the world is made to go without the wisdom and depth of print reporting, news consumers will be left with a “dumbed down” understanding of the world. A new and practical means simply must be worked out to keep print journalism alive.
Very interesting article to read at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003936789
However, some key information’s about the article below.
— Newspapers are very much alive and growing when you consider the print and online audience together. And they talk to far more people than their radio, television and Internet competitors.
— Newspapers have earned the public’s trust because they employ professional journalists to verify news for truth, accuracy and context, and they are usually the first source of local news.
– Advertisers continue to invest in newspapers because they deliver results. They still move goods and services more reliably than other forms of promotion.
— Newspapers remain essential to our democratic system of government, serving as a watchdog against crime and corruption, and a guide dog for information that allows the public to make informed decisions on the issues of the day.
National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Britain have condemned the media industry bosses for cutting jobs of Journalists as ‘Unjustified’. Following the global economic recession, almost all the companies from retailers,manufacturers, traders to investors around the world have been making cutbacks and redundancies.
In Britain, the impact of the financial crisis has been hit severely affecting major media companies as well. But NUJ proclaims that recession is being used as an excuse by the media sectors to make cutbacks. They have outlined saying there are other various fundamental and underlying problems which has led to the use of newspapers being declined in the past few years.
Journalists highlights one of the main reasons in the declination of traditional newspapers in the market is the failure to adapt quickly enough to advances in modern technology, especially since the advent of the Internet. Timeliness now competes with accuracy, and quality has been compromised by increased use of amateur video and photography, which are often available for free. Also free online media tools, such as Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and blogging services, have created a phenomenon of citizen journalism.
Besides that even though journalists have contributed widely in earning profits for the Financial Times Newspaper, they have already cut jobs of 20 Journalists by putting profits prior to jobs and quality journalism. More job cuts is expected to follow from other media companies.
Investigative reporter Nick Davies, whose book Flat Earth News caused a sensation last year for its exposure of the state of British journalism, said “journalists must go public, above the heads of their bosses” in the fight to save the media from destruction during the economic crisis.
The corporations could not provide solutions to the crisis, said Davies, adding that “their reaction now is the same as it always has been, based on prioritizing profit over news values.”
However, Claire Enders, a leading media industry financial commentator, predicted that a third of British regional newspapers and half of all jobs in regional media will disappear by 2013. To read more please click here