RIP For Newspapers

By Jeff Ryan

The shock felt round the world of journalism arrived in an announcement September10 by New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr:

“We will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD.”

According to a report published on October 31 by futurist Ross Dawson, we now have a clearer picture of when that day will come:  The USA will see the end of the daily newspaper in 2017.

This is not the first time Dawson has predicted end times for paper-and-ink news.  In August, Dawson reported Australia would see its last print paper in 2022.
Dawson is globally recognized as a futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and author. His Newspaper Extinction Time Line of global decline for print newspapers puts the USA at the head of the pack, followed by UK and Canada, with some newspapers lasting until 2040.

It’s not a big stretch to imagine Dawson is wrong on his time line, at least concerning The USA.  I, for one, will be surprised if it takes until 2017, especially if the New York Times decides to stop printing within the next couple of years,  also not a big stretch.

Dawson cites a number of key factors, which could speed things up –  most prominently, advances in technology,  which tend to happen faster than anyone predicts. (Think e-readers and tablets, but also digital paper.)

The end of great investigative journalism died some time ago. When was the last time we picked up a  newspaper to read great reporting the likes of Woodward and Bernstein?  But that is another subject for another post.

The end of the print newspaper is coming, and the question is still when.  One thing for sure: The glory days of the newspaper died in 2008, if not before.

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