Print Dies As Machines Rise

Posted on September 09, 2010 by .

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More news readers are turning to the Internet and using mobile devices to get fast news.

More news readers are turning to the Internet and using mobile devices to get fast news.

E-readers are fast replacing newspapers in what seems to be the evident death of the print media industry.

In 2010 consumers are using the web to stay updated about current events, shunning newspapers for trendy e-readers like the iPad and other electronic slates or tablets. A poll earlier this year revealed that only 21.7 percent of Internet users got their news from a newspaper.

The New York Times is the first big newspaper to take heed. New York Times Publisher and chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. says that he eventually expects the “Gray Lady” will no longer be a physical newspaper.

At a recent International Newsroom Summit Sulzberger revealed that they will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD.

This statement may cause alarmist reactions but will certainly strike others as a completely obvious conclusion to the ongoing struggles of traditional print media.

As newspaper circulation continues to fall, the revenues slide too . Stats show losses amount to 27.2 percent for ad revenue lost year-over-year between 2008 and 2009.

This shows that traditional newspaper is definitely in trouble, but news as a commodity is here to stay. Sulzberger acknowledges the media’s commitment to finding new, timely, culturally relevant ways to reach readers and profit from gathering and reporting the news.

Nevertheless, it’s taken most news outlets quite a bit of time to come around to the realization that print isn’t the be-all-end-all of journalism. By delaying innovation, many publications have put themselves in financial dire straits while scrambling to catch up with web-friendly revenue models.

Many newspapers have been flirting with various revenue models for online content over the past years but serious media organizations need to start collecting additional revenue from their readers… information is less and less yearning to be free, says Sulzberger.

NYTimes.com had previously toyed with another paywall-type mode, called TimesSelect, around three years ago. The change wasn’t as lucrative as the paper had expected. Sulzberger sees this experiment as educational, and not necessarily a failure.

What do you think of Sulzberger’s statement that the newspaper would cease to physically exist? Let us know in the comments.

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