The Future of Print

Journalism.org- The State of the News Media 2009

Posted in Boom, Doom by futureofprint on March 19, 2009

The newspaper industry exited a harrowing 2008 and entered 2009 in something perilously close to free fall. Perhaps some parachutes will deploy, and maybe some tree limbs will cushion the descent, but for a third consecutive year the bottom is not in sight.

We still do not subscribe to the theory that the death of the industry is imminent. The industry over all in 2008 remained profitable.

But the deep recession already threatens the weakest papers. Nearly all are now cutting so deeply and rapidly that simply coping with the economic downturn has become a major distraction from efforts to reinvent the economics of the business. And even once the downturn ends, growing or stabilized revenues are no sure thing.

If the industry’s death isn’t imminent, the more pertinent question may be this: can newspapers beat the clock? Can they find a way to convert their growing audience online into sufficient revenue to sustain the industry before their shrinking revenues from print fall too far? And if some succeed and some don’t, what are the characteristics of a newspaper organization that survives and one that doesn’t?

Read the entire report on stateofthemedia.org

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