New York Times CEO Mark Thompson has recently made statements to CNBC regarding the future of print journalism, stating, “I believe at least 10 years is what we can see in the U.S. for our print products.”
This doesn’t come at much of a shock with the rising market for digital media. The New York Times itself added 157,000 new digital subscriptions their last quarter, and those numbers will only increase in an increasingly paperless world.
The death of print has been an issue for years, with many newspapers now defunct from the dwindling industry. Only the most powerful newspapers have remained, and even they must brace for the future. Fortunately, the New York Times has remained ahead of the curve, and have been pushing their digital subscriptions, as well as investing $50 million to expand it internationally. We don’t expect to see them fall anytime soon. But every newspaper must follow suit in order to survive.
It’s a sore subject, but any newspaper must be honest with themselves about their future, and adapt accordingly. All newspapers should start taking the necessary steps to making the transition to digital media, whether that’s through digital subscriptions, or simply developing a free application. Of course, they have to make money somehow, and the only way they will be able to is through advertisements.
Still, there are many people who prefer physical newspapers, and will not be happy with its absence. I, personally, will miss doing the New York Times crossword with a pencil. A lot of people enjoy the tangibility of paper, and do not want to subscribe digitally or read news on a screen.
Unfortunately, it’s simply an unsustainable industry. The cost will become too high as younger generations, who are used to reading their news online, get older. Younger generations are also more eco-conscious and will not see the point in the unnecessary production of paper products.
The time has come to start saying farewell to our newspapers, and start embracing the future of digital media.