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Prof Mpiya

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How can newspapers survive the web

More people are getting their news off the Internet, not newspapers. Will traditional newspaper survive the web. Profit margins and monetisation is very difficult on the web. what business models can newspapers use to survive the web. is the answer in paywalls, of open access and advertising. will the revenue be enough to sustain the print media as we know it.

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  • Sep 18 2013: Maybe newspapers shouldn't survive.I'm no tree-hugger but according to greeningofoil.com,It takes 3,900,000 trees to print a years worth of Sunday editions of the New York Times.Every day, Americans buy 62 million newspapers, 44 million of which are thrown out. Over the next decade, it is projected that Americans will throw 10 million tons of newspapers straight into landfills.With this kind of environmental impact,I'd be happy to get my information,coupons,advertisement,comics and crosswords from the digital world instead of harming the world that we and future generations need to survive.
    • Sep 18 2013: but digital media comes at the cost of pollution only.....Electricity gets generated from Coal creates environmental issues.... you are correct that we should stop using news paper but we should also generate electricity from wind energy, hydro power etc...
      • Sep 18 2013: Yes we desperately need energy alternatives,but we should consider how much energy the internet saves us.Online shopping means you can buy stuff from your home without driving somewhere, meaning more energy savings. Online maps let us find our destinations easier with less driving, too. Then there's the fact that email lets us send messages and documents without requiring a fossil-fuel vehicle to physically deliver that information. So the Internet's share of energy use should certainly be contrasted with the amount of energy it saves.
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          Sep 19 2013: Clyde,i appreciate your contribution to the environment,but i think your idea might not suit everybody.Me,for example,i personally love ink on paper.and it's hard for me to reject.
          when i go online ,i kinda feel like i don 't get the full diet,i feel like i just get the icecream and cookies.you click on things,but when you turn pages of papers,sometimes you see stories you didn't know you will be interested in and you spend some time reading that.this's a certain serendipity factor.That's why i like reading that.It gives texture and content and history and much much more the web can't provide.
          But anyway,i have to confess,on the other hand,i totally identify with you,Clyde.what you said reminds me of always thinking in different perspectives.
  • Sep 18 2013: Perhaps the time has come for print media to re-evaluate its role? We live in a 24-hour news cycle with quick-hit story cycles designed to provide basic facts in 30 seconds or less. When all I want to know is the who, what, when, where and why, I turn to the Twitter feeds, websites, blogs, and news networks that I deem most trustworthy. When would I turn to print media (newspapers, periodicals)? When I want investigative work. With costs rising, print news organizations can't afford to run up their operating costs to run copies of breaking news, if for no other reason than that by the time their edition hits the streets, their reporting could very well be out-dated thanks to the real-time updates that new media provides.

    Where print media such provides its true value and service is in the deep, investigative pieces that expose the true inner workings of issues - the analysis, investigation, and root causes. True, these pieces take more time to research and produce, I tend to find it easier spending the time to sit down with an article that's going to make me think harder about the world than I would sitting down with the latest print edition of yesterday's headlines.
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    Sep 15 2013: you know ,here is the thing,when you go online ,i kinda feel like i don 't get the full diet,i feel like i just get the icecream and cookies.you click on things,but when you turn pages of papers,sometimes you see stories you didn't know you will be interested in and you spend some time reading that.this's a certain serendipity factor.i have to confess i am a teenager and i totally identify with it.i think maybe it becomes a niche product ,for people who want more depth and more length and the big staffs here.we know,the experts cover the pentagon and science.it's hard to support that kind of staff.

    actually,newspapers are still very profitable.the fact is that this industry has only 15 to18 percent profit margins,which in most industry the stockholders would go crazy.they want 25 percent profit margins.so the newspapers have to figure out a way to transition into this new world.something is gonna give you,the people want at least the quality journalism the newspaper still provide .and what they really need to do to stand out is to gather facts,to give texture and content and history which the internet can't provide.
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    Oct 13 2013: You cant wrap your nice china or your favorite beer drinking glasses in an ipad or pc screen when your moving to a new location . Thus for nothing else newspapers are great .
    I like to hear the paper rattle when I read one . Im sure they will be phased out after a while , and that will be the end of a great charcoal barbecue grill starter , and a dog disciplinary tool ( when rolled up ) . Of course that will save a few trees ...
    and thats a good thing .
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    Sep 22 2013: I enjoy reading news online for another reason. Just like other countries,especially in China,the quality of facts reporting in the newspapers are sometimes under suspicion. We have a poweful govenment and they usually control the medias to prettify some facts for their benefits. Besides,nowadays you can also find lots and lots of advertisements bombarding your eyes with several pages in the paper newspapers. On the internet, definitely there are many advertisemenst, but you can always find some interesting comments following the news reports or some truer news simultaneously. The good example is people use the internet to release some govenmental officials' corruptions or other illegal behaviours. Some people are brave enough to expose the truth because they only use a false name for registation without worrying about the consequence. In addition, people from different places can interact by discussing in the follow-up boxes. How can paper newspaper provide these exciting events in a timely manner?

    So I think newspaper agencies should think widely, don't put your eggs in one basket. You can take advantage of the advanced technology to let it serve you better. Why not do it and make it compatible to your paper newspapers? I think this suits any country if you want to change.
  • Sep 16 2013: Newspapers need to supply something that other media, radio, tv, web, social media, etc can not. That would be in depth analysis. TV and the Internet beats newspapers on speed
    • Sep 16 2013: Both the internet and TV can easily supply in-depth analysis, if you know where to look. There are plenty of news websites that are actually ran by newspapers, holding much the same standards, making the transition, because they know their printed editions won't last forever.
      The internet updates faster, costs less to distribute, and is much more environmentally friendly. Its actually more readily available than printed news in most of the developed world these days. The newspaper is obsolete.

      Which leaves the newspaper in the same position as the horse drawn wagon. Only a matter of time until it passes from the world as anything other than a historian's curiosity, or perhaps a trap for the occasional tourist. A lot of older people who don't know how to use the internet still buy them, as well as others who can't let go of the ways of the past, but there are fewer of those every day.
      • Sep 17 2013: Unfortunately both TV and the web have made speed the center of the offering and has led to erroneous reporting and very incorrect assumptions - so even ads are making jokes about the information on the internet being bad.
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    Sep 16 2013: The answer in rather simple - in my mind - at least in theory. The way is through QUALITY. It may no longer be mass journalism but it may do only good for the whole industry of printed press and the journalists themselves (meaning their reputation).
    • Sep 22 2013: Hello.
      I picked you comment to piggyback being after reading some of the more ignorant "Typical" ones I would just be very rude in reply. Lets look at it like this, same as books. You will never replace the smell and feel of a good book , or by chance happen upon something that (God Forbid) may make you smile! I find it not only shaming, but scarey that people are so easy and willing to give up rituals; I remember that part of the morning ritual, especially weekends involved getting up and getting the paper for gramps or dads across america, sitting at the table for breakfast(We gave that up to) waiting for the comics to read Snoopy or Garfield etc...The paper held more value than just news, try to replace that with your ipad. People make me sick at times with this quick dismissal attitude, no wonder the country is fu---!. I will opt for the feel, smell and quality time benefits over any of the nonsense opined here.
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        Sep 22 2013: Yes, you are darn right Dennis, but we can't blame others for not being in love with the printed press. I personally can't imagine a day without a "real" newspaper in my hands. I hope they will continue to print them for the years to come.
  • Sep 15 2013: This issue is applied to that of books. More e-books are developing but still some prefer the paper one. I am also that kind of person. Because the feeling of paper makes me comfortable than clicking sound in the Internet. My family has subscribed the paper newspaper for a long while. This helps us read in a more balanced way. There are possibilities to be biased when we read news through the Internet since people easily lean their prefer direction. As long as the people like me exist, that kind of problem does not matter so much I think:)!
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      Sep 16 2013: Yup. I'm totally agree with you. Reading via the screen for more than 30 minutes is nothing compared to genuine newspaper or books. As for the ads, both have their own market and I believe that the industry can coexist or more profitable as the ads market can be generated more in the web space.
      • Sep 17 2013: Definitely! Coexist is what we must put our priority first. You are right:) Even though technologies will develp and improve much more than this one, I am still a person who love analog thing!
    • Sep 18 2013: on top of that, all TV ads distract you easily and you will not be able to enjoy the news in right manner.
      • Sep 19 2013: That's another important point, Vishal d. Thank you:) I need time to concentrate deeply! Those things are so bothersome
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    bipin k

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    Sep 15 2013: Maybe after 100 years the newspaper will become rare. But for now it can try to stay competitive by doing what it does in a better manner with innovation and marketing.

    1. Indirect marketing like showing in a sci-fi futuristic movie that newspaper is being read in an effort to change consumer perception.
    2. Make non-news section more interesting like the comic or the puzzle section and supplements.
    3. Making newspaper more interactive with public opinions, polls, debates, etc. which can use internet (enabled with QR code) for consumer inputs and newspaper for outputs.
    4. Reading newspapers can be promoted as an habit by schools.
    5. Keep headlines interesting.

    I think this strategy will allow for better consumer experience and newspaper might survive for a longer time.
  • Sep 15 2013: Newspapers are still one of the more reliable source of information compared to the Internet where there is a great assembly line of information which requires careful discerning and sorting of the correct content, which are more often than not contributed by other net users instead of from trustworthy writers.
    • Sep 15 2013: Except that in dedicated news sites, the information on display is at least of as good a quality as you'd previously found on printed news.

      In fact, a lot of these sites are ran by those same newspapers, who know their printed edition's days are numbered.
    • Sep 17 2013: Sorry but newspapers stopped being a good source of info a long time ago. They enabled rich people to capture politics in america. The political extremism in USA is the result of the entire US media being an arm of empire. Just a mouthpiece for the corporate world. See problems of media concentration here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8D67YiLcOM
  • Oct 14 2013: I don´t think newspaper can survive the internet. Actually I don´t think the TV can either, because of the need to cater to so many different requirements nowadays. There will be new needs for media on the upcoming years, new ways of advertisement as generations change and become much more interested of causes than they are today.

    People are developing so much faster than iin the past that a new word will be created in front of us. Violence is taking people out of streets, virtual lives and virtual realities are replacing our real lives, and all these changes are creating a new sociological and anthropological make-up which will force us to switch and live on a semi-real world.

    Of course this is not going to happen at the speed of light, countries have different rates of development but the change is inevitable and how are we going to deal with change is what will dictate the future.
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    Oct 14 2013: the newspaper will survive as long as there are people without web access.
    as long as you are money driven there is no news.
    there are more facts on the web freely available.

    advertising makes you a billboard or poster for your sponsor who can easily dictate the terms of print and you end up being an advertising paper not a newspaper.
    integrity of news and news worthy stories of interest not sensationalism is what sells
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    Oct 13 2013: I tell you what, newspapers need better content. I was recently reading the Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. I can tell you, without a doubt, the content was absolutely mind numbing. I have no idea where they get some of these writers, but the material could not have been more boring.

    Newspapers could still have a place in the big picture. I just don't think they try hard enough to include quality content. Maybe this isn't the case for other newspapers. I can definitely speak for the ones here in South Florida.
  • Oct 13 2013: It can't and won't. Its just a matter of time. When that time comes paper news will be unnecessary.
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    Oct 5 2013: if they created a census like format...everyone who ordered a paper would have hotlines to vote or organize to create collective democracy and change. I>E> report an accident,and within is a website to9 comment on what should be done...vote and a newspaper spokes person ,who is experienced will start a collective for approaching political change....NO MORE redunentcy in news...be a body for votes on the web.....in a word ,lets all man up..
  • Oct 4 2013: The discussion concerning ecology is certainly well-placed. However, there is another dimension to the problem.

    How will the death of traditional newspapers affect the quality of journalism?

    The presence of social media allows us to have somewhat accurate, brief information immediately, on the spot, as it happened, from the people that are "there". And in the modern age where time is a luxury, that is everything an average reader needs: a tweet, a status. Everyone wants the breaking story shortened and, most importantly, for free.

    A detailed analysis of a subject in a quality traditional paper is something people don't have time for. Therefore, they will not buy such newspapers. Hence, the newspaper will not be able to pay the authors of such analyses and all of this might lead to an extinction of serious journalism.


    Which is a problem.
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    Sep 30 2013: They could become more like magazines, meaning having appeal as a printed "newspaper" that has columns on bridge, or tech, or travel, or how to fix, or adventures to experience, or expert columns, and tags galore (TED tag?!). Would give consumer advice, have articles on sex, family, child rearing, health, business, locally created cartoons, poems, then health and all packaged nicely, maybe with cutting edge graffics. I feel that it is of necessity, sort of like Huffington report, to start having volunteer "columnists", and young journalists guided by veteran writers, editors. Team up with other magazines and newspapers both, partner with others and become known as a most wise, knowledgeble source of information, and activism on the home front, then having all the special interests, and world news, some of which your volunteer or long distant readers have created, eye witness so to speak. Take on risky topics and present readers with intelligent options, ways to take action. Get citizens and readers to SOLVE problems proposed by "City Hall" and its departments,--it is amazing the resources out there and people willing to help, come up with implementable ideas, xprize contests for low cities! Let the community help team up and solve problems, proposed city wide initiatives that will create more of a sense of community, connecting people. Contests galore! Month where we all read the same book! Musician events, art and comedy events, and even a TEDxCity of Portland Spirit. Think of the New York Times magazine turned into "tabloid-like" newspaper still using color, with creative local graphic artists and designers featured and give them credit, where design becomes an attractive part of the newspaper. Think Tribune combined with the "Portland Magazine" and "Willamette Week" and Huff. Report, and Guardian newspaper. Hire young and hire old. Explore Edinburgh, Berlin, London, Rio for their alives! This newspaper will light up our cities and our lives!
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    Sep 27 2013: News Paper does not need Energy, neither in one glance you can go through Epapers. E Paper help those people who have Categorise interest to specific segments, Epaper do not provide sudoku to play on it, while paper does. The touch Phenomena is very special as you can preserved it and apart from all this, Paper in scrap give you some of the money back. SO I feel Web and Newspaper both of them have different segment to serve. So No need to worry Newspaper is not dieing and chill.
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    Sep 27 2013: The era we live in is commonly described as The Information age. There is no doubts that newspaper will have to keep on playing an important role our modern societies. However in order for them to "survive" the risks and instability linked to printed press and the shrinking profits Newspapers will have to re-invent themselves.
    The vast majority of traditional newspaper turned to advertorial and other commercial placements as a main income stream . Wether printed or digital, This is a very short term approach to the problem given that people in general are getting less and less sensitive to display advertising. We can then assume that not only the business model but also the business structure must be re-designed. While traditional newspapers are all merging and lowering their quality standards to keep their head above the water, independent and alternative newspapers are rising and taking these market shares. The best example I can think of is The Conversation, created by Andrew Jaspan. Already biggest independent newspaper in Australia after 2years, The Conversation is not quick fix but a long term solution. Every articles is a collaboration between an expert, usually an academic and a journalist. The focus is on high quality, open and collaborative knowledge: sounds like a more viable positioning for the future. Their is plenty of expert insights on the future of media on the website feel free to have a look: http://theconversation.com/topics/future-of-media
  • Sep 27 2013: Before newspapers disappear, a lot of time will go by. It will probably be hard time but there will be problems good newspapers can face. I don't believe that paywall is the best solution. On one hand restricting the opportunities to comunicate free news, it's not the right way to work something out; on the other hand don't forget journals, magazines and newspapers use the net to promote theirselves. In addition to that, in some countries, like Italy, many newspapers receive public fundings (huge sometimes ). There are journalists really brilliant who deserve to work and newspapers worth reading and I am conviced that they will survive.
  • Sep 27 2013: Interesting question. I for one have been in the development area of the web since 1993. I've seen a lot of changes, experienced all the hype, and made my fair share of predictions. None of which has legitimized my opinion.

    That said...my opinion...one of the odd results of IT trends is the proliferation of special interest magazines (printed).

    I think the strength of news is not accessibility, but rather accountability. What this means is, people will seek out trusted and verifiable sources. So in a sense, the online versions of existing publications are the biggest threat to their printed ancestors.

    After accountability, people look for immediacy. If they can get both, the decision is simple.

    So my feeling is...the grand pillars of accountability have nothing to worry about. Only the traditionally based individuals employed by those noble institutions need to take an inventory of their digital savvy.

    [Perhaps people need to engage in personal branding to survive the conversion]
  • Sep 25 2013: Because of the internet, people are now used to getting "talking points" of a story in a short amount of time. Rarely do they want the details.. just tell me the who, what, when, and where. The why is often glanced over. For example, stories on CNN now give you "story highlights" for people who don't want to read the lengthy article. The longest article people might read in a day is on TMZ. With this in mind, I feel as though newspapers have to keep it short. People don't want to sit and read a story on 2A that continues on 13A. The great thing about newspapers, typically, is that they are more interested in facts. Whereas on the internet, facts are secondary to just getting information out in order to be the first to break a story on twitter. For that reason alone, I hope they persevere. However, once the kids that are growing up on facebook and twitter become adults - they may never see the need for print media besides a Vogue mag. So if anything, newspapers are safe until Justin Bieber fans grow up.
  • Sep 25 2013: We had newspapers then other media like radio and television etc. However, newspapers have always survived despite a shift in their margins with the continued fragmentation of media. The birth of the web does not necessarily mean the end of the newspaper.

    The business remains to keep people informed. As such, print media is determined by the cost of printing.
    I'd look at what is keeping the industry alive and what form it may evolve into... That will guide on what business models may work.
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    Sep 22 2013: How can "town criers" survive the newspaper? What is a town crier? From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_crier):

    "In Medieval England, town criers were the chief means of news communication with the townspeople, since many were illiterate in a period before the moveable type was invented. Royal proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, even selling loaves of sugar were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier throughout the centuries—at Christmas 1798, the Chester Canal Co. sold some sugar damaged in their packet boat and this was to be advertised by the bellman."

    In other words, I don't think newspapers will or should survive the web in the long run. They may settle into a nostalgic market niche much like horse drawn carriages today, but I think that's about the best outcome I can think of.
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    Sep 22 2013: I think newspapers should expand their reach to the areas which don't have access to the internet.
    • Sep 22 2013: Thing is though, its cheaper to bring over the internet to those areas than it is to start shipping off printing presses or even the papers themselves.
      Its the same reason much of the developing world has cell phone coverage, but not land lines.
      • Sep 26 2013: I agree with you, cell phone is the future of the news not the internel
  • Sep 22 2013: We don't have to be in love with a product, I just feel that we are becoming to sterile, and that our kids are getting the wrong messages. I think that one of the big issues is the fact that our society is also becoming desensitized. If I had it my way for instance, I would take computers out of every school and return to books and the good ole black board. We truly are dumbing down america, People are attracted to snippets of information which is going to cause a myriad of problems; for instance people already or "Know It Alls" What do you think is happening as a result of four line knowledge." The Answer: Negligence: Misinformation: etc... I work with younger people as my assistants, and I make them do my research the old fashioned way, let me tell you if you want to see a pissed off teen or young adult, force them to use their grey matter. :) These youth are unable to solve basic reasoning problems, and anything requiring them to problem solve. What will the results of such lead... So you see there are many reasons for wanting to keep certain past time events and products alive. Thats All.
    Den.
  • Sep 22 2013: I have been saying this to people for quite some time. I have friends iwho like the paper. I buy all the papers when I go to the stands or market, from the wall street journal, Ny Times, Boston, Providence, because (I know I am a freak) I happen to like the smell of them, and honestly they are comforting in some odd and peculiar way.
    As one of the countries esteemed and respected Abstract Impressionists; I would certainly give the reader some value like provide limited edition Art Prints that will accrue value over time like (Rockwells- Evening Edition Prints) Hell I have characters that would hook any consumer as they are appealing. I also would hold art contests. Ad a section for our youth to write about many topics. These are a couple and I am afraid if you want anymore you will have to put me under contract. But. I will always buy them even though I have been bad about reading them, My assistants are always trying to throw them out.I don't know why they ever stopped the newspaper drives that they had when i was a kid, they were great and I would volunteer at the truck; They would pull up these huge trucks and have people come down with all of their News Papers and magazines and load them into the trucks after bundling them. They were then given to local businesses for packaging and wrapping glassware and other fragile consumer goods. So this was like35 years ago you would think they would still do these paper drives. I think the papers should hold them and repulp the paper. Well Thats all for now. There are always options.
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    Sep 20 2013: I read lots of newspapers -- on the web. Some that I check: Ha'aretz (Israel), The New York Times, Dawn (Pakistan), The Washington Post, La Vanguardia, (Spain) , El Pais (Spain), The Japan Times, and The Guardian. I supplement that with the web sites for CNN, Bloomberg, The Economist, Reuters, just to mention a few sources that are not newspapers. Why would I want to wait for a thick bundle of paper, mostly composed of advertisements or 'infotainment' BS to be delivered to my house and then have to get my fingers all black from reading it? Besides, if I wanted to read my local paper -- the Houston Chronicle -- I wouldn't have a clue what's going on in the world. On the odd occasion I'm in a Starbucks and I buy a copy of The New York Times, I feel cheated -- only a few articles interest me and after I read them I discard the paper to be hauled off to a landfill to rot. Seems a lot easier just to remember to bring my iPad and read a wider variety of articles right off the screen -- and then to fold my iPad and leave. No mess. Greater variety. (Incidentally I subscribe to the Times so it isn't that they're not making some money off of me. I'm tempted to subscribe to both Ha'aretz an to The Wall Street Journal. We'll see.....
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    Sep 19 2013: Aside the love of trees I think newspapers are here to stay. This is not the first time that the evolution of the media to accomodate new platforms has been thought to be the death of the old platforms.
    There is a section of the market that prefers to read newspapers for certain reasons.