A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

The future of newspapers (again)

By Eli Noam, professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University and director of its Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
and published July 14 by the Financial Times:

Are people drifting away from news? Not really. What people are drifting away from is paying for news. And that will be hard to reverse beyond the most powerful or specialised of news brands. It’s happened to music, and now it is beginning to happen to newspapers. Yes, the technology will create many new tiny news media. But the overall result will be more media concentration – a lot fewer but more comprehensive mainstream news organisations as the integrator of most information. First, the paper element of their operations is beginning to vanish. And then, the news part, too, will become unsustainable. Today’s newspaper becomes tomorrow’s news-integrator.

Well, that’s how Noam finishes his piece. It’s a well thought out paper which offers direction and hope (if they pick up on the direction) for publishers but not so much for the current supply chain serving publishers.

What Noam writes makes sense to me. You’ve only got to consider the changes (local and international) over the last six months to see the direction.


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