Newspapers are still dying. Honest

By Stephen Rhodes

Ross Dawson, a self-described leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker and best-selling author says newspapers, as we know them today, have one foot in the grave and the other poised for resurrection,  on an iPad or similar device.

His speaking notes as the keynote speaker at Newspaper Publishers Association Future Forum conference in Sydney include these points.

  • By 2022 newspapers as we know them will be irrelevant in Australia. However the leading newspaper publishers of today may have transformed themselves to thrive in what will be a flourishing media industry.
  • Media revenues will soar but will be unevenly distributed. We are shifting to a “media economy” dominated by content and social connection. Yet established media organisations will need to reinvent themselves to participate in that growth.
  • The successors to the iPad will be our primary news interfaces. Australians will most commonly consume news on portable devices, of which the iPad will be recognised as the forerunner.
  • Digital news readers will cost less than $10. By 2020 entry-level devices to read the news will cost less than $10 and often be given away. More sophisticated news readers will be foldable or rollable, gesture controlled and fully interactive.
  • Journalism will be increasingly crowdsourced. Substantial parts of investigative journalism, writing and news production will be ‘crowdsourced’ to hordes of amateurs overseen by professionals.
  • The reputation of individual journalists will drive audiences. Many journalists, most leading experts in their fields, will still be employed in Australia, with public reputation measures guiding audiences on how much to trust their work.

2022 is a clever prediction. Most of the baby boomers will be retired.

What smart people, including Ross Dawson,  understand is that despite what you read, or how, content is king. Without it, you will be looking at a blank screen on your iPad.

The challenge, as always, is how do you get people to pay for newspaper content repurposed online, when for 10 years it has been free.

Would you pay?

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