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Newspapers: Dying by a thousand cuts

We all know that newspapers, as we have come to know them, are a dying thing.   Some cities around the world no longer even have a daily newspaper.     One can't be left with a distinct impression that newspaper proprietors just didn't see the changing times and how people access news.

From mUmBRELLA....

"Firstly, that in five to ten years the world-famous newspaper will probably cease to exist altogether in its physical form. So too will the likes of The Guardian, the third biggest English language site in the world and, in my opinion, currently the greatest paper on the planet. 

The Guardian does phenomenally well online, with 90 million unique users every month. Compare this with the number of hard copies sold each day… less than 200,000. Readership has halved over the last decade and if that trend continues, the paper will lose its last reader by the end of the decade. 

A paperless Guardian is now inevitable, as it is for every serious newspaper from The New York Times to the Straits Times in Singapore.

One Singapore newspaper staffer told me that it was time editors faced up to reality and moved to paperless operations sooner rather than later.

He said: “News will always be here it is just the form of distribution which has changed.
“Newspapers would be much better transferring to digital the huge amounts spent on news print, multi-million dollar printing presses, distribution networks, lorries, vans and drivers.

“Executives appear relentlessly attached to the distribution system which is a ball and chain dragging them under. Do you really think people will be reading hard copies of newspapers in ten years? They will be reading news stories on Google glasses or some yet-to-be-invented device. That’s the reality.

Circulation is crashing and newspapers will have to come to terms with the fact that they will never make the kinds of profits they once did because their monopoly has been busted.”

The second point is staffing levels. They cannot be sustained at current levels.

To run its print and online operations, The Guardian employs 1,600 people worldwide, including 600 journalists and 150 digital developers, designers and engineers.

The newsroom is simply too big for what is now effectively a digital newspaper and it’s no surprise it has lost money for nine years running.

The New York Times also needs to address this issue. Its newsroom stands at around 1,150 people."


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