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Friday, April 29, 2005

Newspaper journalism will survive, but not the print medium

Newspaper journalism is stronger than ever. But the newspaper itself has seen better days. Adam Penenberg, assistant professor in the business and economic reporting program at New York University, writes on Wired News, "People haven't been abandoning newspapers. They have been abandoning the print medium... More people read traditonal news outlets today than ever before. But they are doing it on a screen." Penenberg points out that the many of the most visited web sites around the world are major media organizations and newspapers.

Quoted in Christian Science Monitor in an article entitled "Newspapers struggle to avoid their own obit," Penenberg is quoted also puts faith in younger readers, a demographic that many believe don't read the news, who he says are "voracious" readers. Having accustomed themselves to reading the news online, packaging it in personal ways, skipping from site to site and article to article, Penenberg echoes stats from Poynter that show that 1/3 of the 18 to 24 age group prefer to read their news online, as opposed to 10% who read a newspaper.

Another article in The Australian quotes Mike Game, COO of Fairfax Digital, who says "New media has not replaced the core attribute of newspapers, which is the ability to analyze and to provide much deeper insight." Fairfax Digital, Game explained, is also attracting young readers through its websites that printed news is failing to pick up. Nic Jones, managing director of News Interactive considers newspapers as "content manufacturers" and feels that, being a media company, they should distribute their content through whatever means necessary, including the Internet and mobile phones.

Sources: Wired News, Poynter, Christian Science Monitor, The Australian

Posted by john burke on April 29, 2005 at 05:41 PM in a. Citizen journalism, c. Multimedia convergence, h. Young readers / New readers, n. Online strategies, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers | Permalink


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I couldn't agree more, but what I wonder about is this: How will new media, based on unverified circulation and plagued by things like "click fraud", manage to pay for organizations that may involve four or five people, plus photographers, in every story? Will there be a further consolidation of voices, where a CoxGannettRidder operates a single shop with a handful of editors working with remote-location writers and a multitude of what we used to call stringers, now "local bloggers" giving that all-important local presense? Doesn't fill MY heart with joy.

Posted by: P. at May 2, 2005 6:01:29 AM