In ever since alternative platforms of presenting

 In 2011, Alan Rusbridger said the traditionalnewspaper had no future, and even his own paper, The Guardian, would cease toexist in five years as a printed newspaper, why did he say this? Why was hewrong? Will he be proved right in the end?             When Alan Rusbridger said thetraditional newspaper had no future in 2011, he was referring to the sharpdecline of printed newspaper circulation in the UK, ensuring that even The Guardianwould cease to exist by 2016. Although The Guardian still exists as a printedcopy, Rusbridger wasn’t wrong about the decline of print – lots of newspaperoutlets have made the decision to either scrap the printed copy altogether,rework their paper for practical reasons, or moving the focus of their Journalismto an online platform. The speculation that print publications would be indecline is not a new theory, and sales have seen a recession ever since alternativeplatforms of presenting news were invented. When itcomes to reasons for the decline of print circulation, the advent of theinternet was one of the most prominent factors. Simon Jenkins, former editor ofThe Times famously said in 1997 that “The internet will strut its hour upon thestage and then take its place in the ranks of lesser media.” From the 1990sonwards in particular, the rise of the internet would change the ways that all businessesin general, including newspaper outlets, would have to present their business model,incorporating younger audiences and presenting news in more creative ways previouslynot seen.

 Creative waysto present news to audiences are increasingly seen on social media and various apps.For instance, the messaging app Snapchat that’s become popular amongst youngaudience demographics, incorporated a news feature into the apps home screen inearly 2016. This enables the user to be able to browse bite-sized articles, interactivefeatures, and summarised news reports. With consideration to their younger audiencedemographic, these news features are usually focused on celebrity gossip,sports, and fashion; although do include a variety of stories from a plethoraof news and entertainment outlets including Sky Sports, Buzzfeed, NationalGeographic and IGN for example.

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In addition to this, social media like Twitterhave succeeded in almost overtaking original print publications when it comesto consumers’ first choice of reliable news. This is mainly due to the effectiveuse of hashtags and trending topics, allowing a variety of audiences to find,share, and discuss news much more conveniently – as a result creating increasedcompetition for print based newspapers.   It isundoubtable that the evolution of news has been heavily impacted by theinvention and increased use of smartphones in modern society. With the ideathat everyone has one, as well as being the most easily accessible gateway toinformation, it has become important that not just newspaper outlets, but all companiesfind a way of incorporating their business model into the daily use ofsmartphones.

In fact, some studies show that smartphones alone could be mostly toblame for the decline in print, not just because of innovation and ease of apps,but due to also becoming more popular with older readers. Business Insider showsus that in a study between 2015 and 2016, smartphone ownership amidst peopleages over 55 nearly doubled in one year – from being only 30% in March 2015, risingto 55% in March 2016.1This shows that even the most important audience demographic for newspaperreaders are deciding to follow the path of new technology and smartphones, and willtoo undoubtedly switch to the more accessible option of digital news and media.The studiesof Rasmus Nielson in his book ‘Local Journalism: The Decline of Newspapers andthe Rise of Digital Media’, discuss the idea that local journalism today ischanging due to the larger changes underway in our media environments, mentioningthat in order for the future of local journalism to continue, the professionwill have to alter its business models to suit new technology.2 Althoughthis is currently the case with contemporary media, he goes onto saying that itcould still be positive for Journalism, as the “new digital media environment representsconsiderable potential for inspiring new forms of local journalism”, and thatis the method in which corporations should move towards in order to keeprevenue and interest alive in such a fast-developing environment. Institutionshave always been aware of the decline in print platform, and it wasn’t a challengefor figures like Alan Rusbridger to examine the statistics available andrealise that action must be taken in order to stay relevant as a news sourcedespite the digital revolution. News outlets noticed these trends and in turn attemptedto slowly implement more online features.

An example of this can be seenthroughout The Guardian’s own timeline, with firstly the introduction of adigital edition of the paper in 2004, available to monthly subscribers andallowing access to articles, images and adverts as they were in the printedversion. Furthermore, The Guardian also explored more interactive content withthe creation of an online dating service named ‘Soulmates’, and a Guardianstudent website in 2012, with the aim of attracting a more diverse audiencedemographic through the use of the internet.Despite theunavoidable move over to digital media that news institutions will have to makein the future, profit is still going to be an issue for businesses. This is dueto the fact that digital advertising, paywalls or other methods of subscriptionssimply don’t make as much revenue as physical print products; however arebecoming more popular for advertisers. In George Brock’s book ‘Out of Print’,he discusses the idea that advertising revenue for print papers has beendeclining much more rapidly than the profit gained from an increasing number ofdigital ads, mentioning that ‘figures between 1995 and 2007 in the EU newspaperindustry revealed income shrinking by 10.6% per year’, suggesting a directcause between the decline of print products.3 Thisis backed up by research from Enders Analysis, in which they state that ‘forevery £154 newspapers lose in print revenue, they gain only £5 in digitalrevenue.’ According to statistics, they also estimate that national newspaperrevenue will fall from £1.

5 billion in 2011, to just £533 million by 2019.Despite popularnewspapers suffering circulation falls, they are still considered by consumersto be the more reliable and accurate way to consume news. In fact, a lot of otherplatforms heavily rely on the information used to present their journalism toaudiences, and to acquire trustworthy sources or quotes. For this reason,current journalists are hoping that the newspaper industry will see a rise inrevenue for traditional and reliable news, comparably to how the music industrysees spikes in popularity from traditional music like vinyls instead of digitalmedia. With such negative statistics surrounding the newspaper industry, the futureof printed papers seems bleak, as the only method of these news outlets continuingto make revenue might be to embrace new media and to fully switch over into thedigital world.

 Word Count:13291 Edwards, J. (2018). Forevery £154 newspapers lose in print revenue, they gain only £5 on the digitalside. online Business Insider. Available at:http://uk.businessinsider.

com/statistics-smartphones-print-newspaper-revenues-2017-2 2 Nielsen, R. (2015). LocalJournalism: The Decline of Newspapers and the Rise of Digital Media.London: I. B.

Tauris & Company. 3 Brock, G. (2013). Outof print. London: Kogan Page.



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