Is it the end of print journalism?

The impact of print journalism on our lives is difficult to overstate, but many companies are treading difficult waters in recent years as funding wanes and subscriptions decline. Here are a few of the reasons why newspapers are scrambling to make the changes necessary to survive the new digital landscape.

Reliance on smartphones and laptops for access to news is the main driver of the decline of newspapers. News is often reported by someone close by who can upload reliable, first-hand accounts from their own device within minutes. This also means that the costs of producing printed media – ink, paper, delivery – are becoming untenable and obsolete as well.

Age of readership is another factor driving the transition to digital formats. If you did not grow up reading a newspaper you are not likely to pick up the habit today. Studies suggest that besides the convenience using phones to read the news, most young people consider most print journalism to be old news anyway. They believe doing an online search for the updates on news items that interests them would yield more current information, and they are not wrong.

Finally, journalism is in an unprecedented paradigm shift related to the platforms now used to purvey information to the public. The industry that began with daily print runs of current events for a known level of public consumption is now controlled by digital media corporations that counts clicks. And whereas content was once driven by how it impacted the reader’s life, digital media journalism seems to be geared towards making money on confirmation bias and tribalism.

The switch to totally digital marketplace is almost complete with only underdeveloped and undemocratic nations lagging behind, and if those are the only places where print journalism could expand it reach, its days are truly numbered.