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The Struggle of Hardcopy Newspaper in the Digital World Dependent on Advertising Revenues

By Anyieth Apr 16, 2014 1167 Words
News corporation Australia
Newspaper Consumers Headed to the Graves
Briefing Note

The struggle of hardcopy newspaper in the digital world
Dependent on advertising revenues
Newspaper industry heading towards a darker future
Conclusion and Recommendations

It has come to the companies’ attention that the digital revolution, all though a major positive for the world, is rapidly becoming the downfall of print journalism. Although our company has greatly benefited from digital recourses throughout the years today we face the greatest threat of all losing more consumers than ever before. Yes, technology has played a major part in taking away faithful readers of the hardcopy newspaper, however it is not the only challenge we are struggling to overcome with the future of this industry; we are much aware that advertisement is the backbone of this company observing that with the mass drop of readers the advertising sections are looking elsewhere to pursue public attention, leaving the industry with little sponsorships. If these issues are not addressed and solved urgently the industry is looking at a dark future ahead. Background

Print newspapers are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Ever since the digital revolution distribution levels are declining as consumers continue to switch their attention to online news content. Australian News Corporations have reported a large rise in net profit despite a weak result from it hard copy newspaper mainly because of the lack of advertising revenue and the mass shift of hard copy consumers to online followers. Due to low distribution print sales revenue has dropped dramatically, in spite of cover price increases. Since this has become very evident to the public its effects on the marketing section has also decreased diminishing advertising revenue as newspapers lose more consumers. Although newspaper companies are contending online, advertising revenue is far less affective due to the limited space on a web page. With the large loss of consumers and a loss of advertisement interest over the past five years, the industry revenue is expected to have declined by 8.4% annualised over the five years through 2013-14 predicted to be worth $4.3 billion. Considerations

The harsh reality is that hard copy newspaper consumers are headed to the cemetery. Ross Dawson claims that the rise of social networking was to be predicted in his book Living Networks written in 2002. In a section Dawson states that modern technology such as the Ipad and other similar successors mark the future of print newspapers, he claims ‘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...” (Living Networks, 2002, page 57). Although the internet has played a major role in ripping away consumers from printed newspapers it does not have a power to save the industry alone. Due to online journalism being an area that cannot support a large employment of journalists writes the Crikey chairman (The Monthly, 2014, page 7). The industries high concentration level, consists of many different companies, four of its main players are News Corporation, Fairfax, Seven West Media and APN News and Media; accounting for a predictable 87.0% of the industry profits in 2013-14. Between these leading corporations they supply most of Australia’s reporting on economics, politics, justice, welfare, health, science, public policy, international affairs, culture, arts and ideas. Five years ago these four industries employed around 1500 journalists. Today that number is near the 1000 mark; within two years it could be as few as 500 which illustrate the huge downfall of hard copy newspaper. The print industry is rapidly losing a great deal of profit for every dollar they lose the make less than 10 cents for online, which restates that the internet alone cannot save the newspaper industry. For years newspapers have been support for the Australian democratic infrastructure, observing parliament, and the courts as the enforcement of public accountability and scrutiny. In the US Pew survey (State of the Media Report) demonstrates that the inevitable control of online media is rapidly becoming the norm. Pew survey states that media news is being consumed more than any other form over taking newspaper and radio. As consumer rates drop so does the advertising revenue, The Age and The SMH have lost up to a third of their exchange in the last 3 year, it is a huge worry that this will continue to be the case as consumer continue to fall away from print newspaper. Even though the negatives far outweigh the positives in print newspaper future, there are those who would argue otherwise. An example of a major benefactor that sees a bright future for print is the CEO of news limited Kim Williams who mentioned ‘There is much to be positive about. Robust continuing and truly great journalism; sustainable business models for print and shiny new business models in digital media; and a heightened and voracious appetite from consumers for diverse news and information across their spectrum of passions and interests...’ last year during a lecture at Melbourne University. Fairfax’s CEO a year before that also had similar views, Greg Hywood stated that ‘the future of journalism has never looked stronger’. Claiming that the internet was the reason for its benefits and consumers are looking for variety. However the case online news will never make as much as the four leading newspaper companies of $150 million or even a fraction of this price. Although there are two major factors to having coverage that creates millions of websites and blogs, also billons of web pages, ensuring a collapse of online advertising revenues all but very professional or unique websites, which creates a dilemma in commoditisation news. Conclusion

Change is a large part of life, usually the change is for the better media the internet provides a wide range of different news which most is free and can be accessed easily. The question is why would readers waste money and time on buying an old-fashioned hard copy newspaper? They wouldn’t and that is the sad reality of print journalism and the dark downhill tumble for hard copy newspapers. Online world has a wide range of areas that are in need of professional journalism, which will remove the powers of gatekeepers to use (and abuse) influence society by contributing to their media. Recommendations

Focus on online news productions and online news webpage’s that allow consumer to comment and have an opinion Use online advertisement as a form of decoration on webpage’s, have adds before the news clips on the web Spend less money producing extra newspapers and focus on building a new form of technical newspaper device or news tablet or booth that will be new and exciting.

Massey, Brian L.; Ewart, Jacqueline Ann ‘Satisfaction of Australian Newspapers Journalist during Organisations Change’ pp. 23-25 2007 Rey G Rosales Elements of Online Journalism’ pp.15-36 2006 Ross Dawson ‘Getting Results from Crowds’ pp. 34-56 2011 Stuart Allan ‘Online news, Journalism and the Internet’ pp. 58-75 2006 William J Merrilees ‘The Journal of Industrial Economics’ Vol. 31, No 3 pp. 291-311 (March, 1983)

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