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what’s the future for the newspaper industry? March 23, 2009

Posted by suegrant46 in internet, new media, pr, recession, social networks.
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70 US papers have closed recently resulting in 5000 job losses and the latest victim, the Seattle PI, which was 150 years old has reduced its workforce from 120 to just 20 journalists now contributing to only an online edition.

Did the newspaper industry make a big mistake by so freely letting their content go online without considering first how to create long-term revenue streams?  It’s too late now but as print advertising revenues fall away dramatically and newspapers and publications are closing or reducing their staff to less than a third of what they once were – they are left scrabbling to sort out where revenue is going to come from.

The business models have to change. It’s likely that revenue will come from a range of sources rather than one and it could be a combination of digital advertising, part paid for subscription content and e-commerce partnerships.

Specific focus and knowing the target audience is key.  In fact, isn’t it also about establishing an ongoing dialogue with those audiences? Identifying who that audience is and then communicating with them as a community rather than simply a one way broadcast is essential. The old ways are dead. It will require change and fresh thinking from the media giants if they are to survive.