Sliding into the Abyss: The End of Print?

This week we saw the FT cut 80 staff from across the board to focus more on digital and The Economist Group also culled 13 of its own. Last week Exchange & Mart went online only and some experts are tipping the Independent to go the same way before the year is out.

So where does this leave print media and where does it leave PR?

I recently read a blog which centred on the New York Times’ desperate efforts to raise money and deal with online media, including carrying ads on the front page for the first time in its history. The writer singles out this comment from a reader:

“Print is just a device. The New York Times is not just a newspaper, it’s a news organization…This isn’t a storm! This isn’t something that’s going to pass! It’s the ice age. People aren’t going to suddenly open their eyes and we’re back in print.”

What a great statement. Personally, I think the best boardsheets will still have a print and an online version, but a subject I’ll be writing up this week for New Media Knowledge, the new media oracle of the University of Westminster, will be looking at whether the current economic downturn has accelerated the inevitable decline of print media as news organisations scramble for a piece of the growing online ad pie.

Where does this leave PR? I’ve been to two debates recently run by panels of journalists absolutely terrified that PR is taking over and damaging the integrity (their word, not mine) of the media. Less staff means they need quick access to more content to fill space, but I believe that only the good stuff will get through the editorial process – this means no sales bumpf, people.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding your talk of the Indy potentially going online-only, check out Silicon Alley Insider's '12 Media Properties that are Toast' http://www.alleyinsider.com/2009/1/12-media-properties-that-are-toast. Papers like the San Francisco Chronicle are going under - and fast.