The future of newspapers vs. the future of news

It’s now conventional wisdom that newspapers are dying, and the only debate left is when, not if.  According to this recent predictionextra, extra by futurist Ross Dawson, in the U.S. we’re looking at roughly 2017.  But what does that mean exactly?  It certainly doesn’t mean the death of news, just a change in the form we consume it.  What does that mean for news organizations?  On these questions, the future is a bit murkier.

People are demanding and consuming more news that ever, through a plethora of sources both on and offline.  Free papers such as alternative weeklies and college newspapers are still maintaining high levels of readership while paid circ continues to drop.  Much of what you find online is repackaged and recycled news that is still being assembled by your local fish wrap factories, despite their declines.  How journalism is supported as a business as eyeballs move online is the fundamental problem the industry will continue to wrestle with over the next few years.  Advertising will continue to be a part of the business model, but paid premium content, micropayments, online/tablet subscriptions and other revenue sources should increasingly become a part of the mix as traditional print ad revenue falls.

Are you with a college newspaper, or an alternative weekly? What have you been doing to stay relevant and prevent your eulogy from being written?

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