What is the future of Print Media?

by Tith Chandara

Some of the media practitioners still feel that the print media is still survive. One confirmed that people might not able to look at computer screen all the time. SG-Tith Chandara

Singapore – June 24, 2011 – “I will never go to print media that doesn’t make any sense. I think print is useful for magazine that you want on the coffee table. […] I understand what they do, it’s because the revenues are so great on paper versus online, but it has to go away. I would never do anything in print. I think most people like paper just to read them, but you don’t want to go to the monument to buy more and more often,” said Michael Arrington, founder and Co-Editor of TechCrunch in a panel discussion about the evolving world of online publication and if the print media and still stay in the era of digital media in Digital, Life, Design Conference in Munich, Germany (For a TV, 2009).

There is always a question; can print media survive in the future of technology advancement?Impacts on Newspaper

The shift base on technology would bring the newspapers lose their audiences. An example in the Wall Street Journal, 2008 states that a paper today that used to have 10 people in London felt to have only one. And the one is predicted to be gone. This example shows the decrement of the readers. They move to online which they find it convenience to them because they just bring their mobile phone, laptop or iPad/tablet everywhere with them and access to the internet. That’s it. They don’t need to go to the news stand and buy it every morning.

From a slide presentation of the Scarborough research, in the U.S percentage of newspaper readership indicated on the left column is decreasing while internet as a new media is drastically increasing.(Gary, 2008)

Another impact would shift the journalism in the newspaper down. So to say newspaper will try to work based on audiences’ needs. Sometimes, newspaper firms might change their journalistic contents to serve audiences by publishing celebrity news, or beauty, etc.

What are the alternative resources of revenue?

“Print is Still King: Only 3 percent of newspaper reading happens online” (Martin, 2009). It’s a title of an article analyze from a research that 96 percent of readers still acquainted to read newspaper. This is good news that newspaper can stay alive. On the other hand, there are discussions whether print can fight the new technology in the future.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Rupert Murdoch said that in about 10 years later, maybe the print media can still survive. He said that once the average newspaper in the U.S felt down, but later they could recover themselves, but not through journalism. They use computer and new technology to stand up.

So, what the print media can do to survive? First of all, it needs to live with a website. One the story published in the paper, readers can seek for online article by subscribing online. Sometimes, they can have a pay per view or free for first time view. By having online media, newspaper firms can have double advertisements both on the paper and online with special price or any promotion. The multimedia would also contribute to the fleshy and attraction within the website. Then, the firms can run both newspaper, pictures on the newspaper and subscribed softcopy of pictures and videos (if possible).
The second is to digitize everything. One thing people are talking about is the news tablets which readers can bring with them everywhere and read every time. They don’t need to carry papers or hand out their mobile phone. The futurists say the products should stand on the market in a reasonable price (John, 1993).

Another, maybe the newspaper firms can run with similar industry like TV or radio or even Digital Corporation and then share resources. That would also be another benefit. For instance, there is a new initiative by the News Corp and Apple together and brings up an iPad-only newspaper, The Daily (Leslie, 2011). However, Rupert Murdoch starts from scratch with The Daily. He employs experienced reporters from well-known publications to develop the Daily. This is from very rich media integration. Accordingly, we can develop an idea, if we have a newspaper to have an app exclusively on iPad or any other new technology tablets or mobile products. This can bring more reputation to the newspaper leads to a feeling of people that they might go to the print version since they feel that exclusive app on iPad is cool.
It is still ongoing discussion about whether print media and newspaper can stay alive in the digital world. The print might need to initiate new ideas in order that they can stand in the digital market.

Though there are some impacts on the newspaper in the digital era, some media practitioner feels positive about the print media. A media training officer, Chhay Sophal still feels optimistic about survival of the print because people might not only read on screen. He added that in Cambodia at the weekend, the circulation has been increasing. Dr. Violet Valdez, the Executive Director of the Konrad Adenauer Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University said “We should continue do the journalism whatever the platform is.”


Fora TV. (2009, January 26). The Survival of Print Media [Video webcast] [Television series episode]. In Digital, Life, Design Conference. Retrieved from http://video.ezinemark.com/the-survival-of-print-media-4329f238b80.html

H. Leslie. (2011, February 1). Murdoch Previewing iPad-Exclusive Newspaper, The Daily, Tonight. Retrieved 14 June 2011 from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2379157,00.asp

L. Martin. (2009, April 13). Print is still king: Only 3 percent of newspaper reading happens online. Retrieved 13 June 2011 from Nieman Journalism Lab website http://www.niemanlab.org/2009/04/print-is-still-king-only-3- percent-of-newspaper-reading-actually-happens-online/

M. Gary. (2008, May). Audience Aggregation and Audience-Based Selling [PowerPoint slides]. Paper presented at the SNPS Audience Development Conference, Columbia, SC. Retrieved from http://www.scarborough.com/…/Gary%20Meo%20SNPA%20Presentation%20Ma y%202008.pdf

M. John. (1993, June). Papers Will Survive Newest Technology. Retrieved 13 June 2011 from the American Journalism Review website http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=114

The Wall Street Journal. (2008, June 9). His Space. Retrieved 13 June 2011 from the Wall Street Journal website http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121269889107049813.html

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