Death of Newspapers, Or Is It Not?

After a sharing session in class, it has come to my attention that there the number of people reading the news over the web as compared to physical newspapers has been steadily rising over the past months. Here are the statistics to substantiate the statement made:

Taken from here

Does that mean in the near future, online news will totally eradicate physical newspapers? It seems to be so with the declining sales of major newspapers around the world; the Internet cited as a major competitor.

Some may argue that you cannot believe what you read on the web but what are we talking about? Biased opinions and rumour based blogs? I do not think so. There are plenty of trustworthy news sources which are keeping pace at the speed of life, moving along with the world we are living in. So why the sudden concern? News will still be available, with or without newspapers. It’s the medium that will differ.

On the flip side of this current debacle, there are still some people who wants newspapers to be kept alive. Here are 2 solutions:

Solution #1

Newspapers now should follow how magazines work; through feature stories. Breaking stories are a big no-no due to the speed of the Internet where readers could easily get their feeds on the story instantaneously as it happens.
‘News’ will now consist of background stories, analysis of the event, providing insights and providing information where most newspapers think are irrelevant to their local readers. It will draw readers to read newspapers due to the introduction of different angles on the news.

Solution #2

If you cannot make readers buy newspapers, bring the newspapers to them. This is an idea of daily papers for commuters on the trains and buses. The proposition is based on the customer insight that commuters taking the public transport have the time to read.
In addition to that, commuters needs the papers to be a grab and go kind of situation rather than a stop, grab and go situation. Given the hypothesis, how about giving the newspapers out for free? This is considering that advertising makes the bulk of newspapers’ revenue rather than the sales itself. With free newspapers, there comes more circulation where in turn more advertisers willing to advertise on the newspapers and ultimately leading to increased revenue.

Newspapers have to understand better the evolution of customer behaviour and zoom into that in order to seize their dwindling target market to read the newspaper physically.


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