Sunday, November 1, 2009

The future of the print media

According to an article published in The Australian today (Meade, A 02/11/09, The blog as twitterature: an academic's passion,,28124,26290301-7582,00.html)
Canberra journalism lecturer Julie Posetti is quoted as saying 'I am one of those people who no longer walks into a newsagent and buys a copy of a newspaper. I consume all my news online'.
The question begs to be asked - if even journalists and former journos no longer buy newspapers, how much longer will the public continue to buy them when they can access virtually the same content online free of charge? As I have recently discovered in the course of my research into the implications of Web 2.0 technology for society, many people these days are turning to news sites that utilise citizen reporting to access news content. It seems there is a growing number of people who are becoming dissatisfied with the fact that reporting in the traditional news media is often subject to a certain amount of commercial control, thus they are turning to citizen journalism sites for what they perceive to be a more accurate representation of events from people who are 'on the ground'. However let's not forget that there are a vast amount of people who, for one reason or another, cannot or will not want to access news online. These are the people who will keep the newspaper industry going for the foreseeable future, for example; the elderly and those who don't feel comfortable using a computer, those who cannot afford an internet connection, and those in rural or remote areas who do not have broadband or any internet access at all, to name but a few. I don't believe the death knell has sounded for the print media just yet, however I believe we will see a concerted effort by companies to change and remain relevant and viable in this digital age.

Finally, it is time to reflect on all that I have learnt throughout studying IPD in 2009. Prior to studying IPD I had never read the Media section of The Australian, and never put much thought into considering media issues. I had little knowlege of what is taken into consideration when preparing an item for publication including factors such as use of colour, font size, position of graphics, page balance, etc. I now have a much greater appreciation of the effort that goes into every publication in order to attract and maintain reader attention which I am hopeful will stand me in good stead as I pursue a career in the Editing and Publishing industry.