The 'elite' future of the newspaper

The endgame for the newspaper is in sight, says Philip Meyer, hack-turned-professional-doomsayer and author of The Vanishing Newspaper. That 2005 book is commonly quoted as predicting April 2043 as the date on which the last New York Times appears - although in fact his model suggests the industry would have capitulated long before that.

In the American Journalism Review, Meyer now says he underestimated the velocity of the effect the internet would have. "It is now clear that it is as disruptive to today's newspapers as Gutenberg's invention of movable type was to the town criers, the journalists of the 15th century."

Now he says the newspapers can only survive by no longer trying to be all things to all men - and, crucially, by concentrating on retaining a core of trust and responsibility. The survivors will provide analysis, interpretation and investigative reporting "in a print product that appears less than daily, combined with constant updating and reader interaction on the Web".

But, Meyer warns: the opportunity to act may already have passed.

Comments

The day the newspaper dies, doomsday has arrived. Global warming has taken a toll on the world, water's value exceeds gold's, there will be corporate wars (wait... dont we have those already?) and the movie Mad Max is normality.

However, web 2.0 is a serious challenge for any corporate/designated-group financed news source. Be it newspapers, TV or radio (all of these are starting to take ground online aswell). However, somebody has already said this, but they did expect the TV to kill the newspaper 50 years ago - didnt happen.

In my opinion, it is greatly different to read news online and on paper. Yes, you get the advantage of being selective of the news you plan to read, but... Newspaper is educative, if nothing else - to read a certain news, you will still read through the others and reap an intellectual profit, so to say.

And it is good to be able to turn the pages of the newspaper (the same thing: books vs computers/internet) and feel the paper crumble under your fingers. A newspaper, coffee and a cigarette is the way to start the morning. No paper-screen, laptop or retinal scanner could replace that.

By jaakpardi