The News Without The Paper

Over the next decade newspapers must evolve into newsgathering organizations that offer their primary distribution online according to analyst Ken Doctor with the information-industry market research firm Outsell.

You can request a complimentary copy of Outsel’s report, the Future of News, or read a synthesis of Doctor’s “prescriptions” in this MediaPost report. Doctor says paper circulation will not completely disappear but says newspaper publishers will have to follow younger readers online while keeping their older print subscribers. Doctor describes the age difference thus:

“We’ve seen in our own survey that the average age of a daily reader is 55 years old, and the group with the strongest preference is 50-plus, while the strongest preference for online editions, as well as online news aggregators, is 25-34.”

He offers many suggestions about how publishers will have to change their operations to serve this split audience. One point speaks directly to rank-and-file news-gatherers, who will also have to evolve or face extinction:

“Reporters now put content into … very expensive editing and production systems that are oriented largely toward print publishing. What’s clearly needed … (are) … systems that allow not just on-the-fly, dynamic publishing 24-7, but also photos, audio, and video, handling it very quickly–and getting it distributed to different sets of users.”

The message to media workers seems simple — learn to publish multimedia or perish.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media