Will print media recover or existing trend accelerate?

silverharp

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There seems to be a hashtag #buyapaper on Twitter, kind of sad in a way. Its one industry that will have an existing trend permanently accelerated. Even if the economy goes back to work in a couple of weeks, older people will probably not be doing daily shopping for a while. People wont want to touch papers or magazines in public places as they will be seen as health risk. Unlike other businesses that might be taken over and reopened, newspapers don't really fit into that category.

Anyone care to predict any big names here or abroad that might close up shop, or simply get out of the print business and slim down to be online only?

 


ruman

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There certainly seems to be a movement to highlight "fake news" and push the credentials of traditional media.

The problem is in Ireland at least our traditional media have a very poor record of highlighting failings at higher levels in our society. We saw it when the church was in it's pomp, with Haughey and then with the financial crisis.

Generally the mood will change and then it will become fashionable and safe to criticize targets that previously weren't criticized. Basically the entire media here will criticise the church now but wouldn't dare 30 years ago when it was in its pomp. We see similar failure to criticise senior officials in the department of health.

Criticism by the likes of RTE/IT seems to be confined to those in authority in the US and UK yet here it's non existent. The IT has a number of columnists who essentially have the same views on everything. Proper journalism challenges peoples opinions and we should be able to read articles we disagree completely with on a regular basis. We all have a duty to challenge our beliefs.

I'm no SF fan but their rise appears to have largely caught our subservient media on the hop. There is widespread disenchantment with our health and housing situation. Traditional parties didn't address this and weren't questioned by our media. I had reduced paper purchases to the IT on Saturday but stopped that a few years back. For those younger there is no tradition of purchasing and i honestly cant see how that will change. The industry in its traditional form is dying on its feet and to be honest they largely have themselves to blame.
 

Barroso

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There seems to be a hashtag #buyapaper on Twitter, kind of sad in a way. Its one industry that will have an existing trend permanently accelerated. Even if the economy goes back to work in a couple of weeks, older people will probably not be doing daily shopping for a while. People wont want to touch papers or magazines in public places as they will be seen as health risk. Unlike other businesses that might be taken over and reopened, newspapers don't really fit into that category.

Anyone care to predict any big names here or abroad that might close up shop, or simply get out of the print business and slim down to be online only?

How many daily titles do we have here?
The Indo, the Herald, the Irish Times, the Examiner and the Echo.
The Irish News, the Belfast Telegraph and Belfast Newsletter in the North
Various Oirish editions of English papers.

Cities the size of Derry, Galway and Limerick would probably have their own titles in other countries.
It seems to me that we are poorly served by the print media. I wonder if there has been a policy to run it down, separate from the various disasters of their own making and the economic downturn? I've often wondered why a successful paper like the Irish Press was run into the ground, and which interests that might have served. It used to be a voice with a different focus from the Indo and the IT, and IMO Irish society became poorer, more one dimensional in its absence.
 

Estragon

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Yes, the pandemic will no doubt exacerbate an existing trend. Paper sales continue to drop remorselessly year-on-year for fairly obvious reasons.

When this crisis hit advertising evaporated over night. A fair bit of that will go on line and you'd have to think it's going to be very difficult to win it back.

Pagination is down because staples like court and sport are wiped out and there is only one other story in town really. That, along with the contamination worry, makes papers a less attractive product straight away. And once people get out of the habit of buying a paper, they are usually gone forever. That would suggest a post pandemic situation where paid for sales are a fraction of what they had been previously.

The post crisis paper should see significant thinning out of the newspaper offering, but the damage done by the pandemic means the survivors are only on borrowed time.

It'll be hard to imagine what civic debate and even basic news reporting is going to look like with the death of newspapers. Because of the independence provided by paid for sales, they were able set a news agenda which didn't always suit the rich and powerful. You'd have to imagine that in the brave new world money will do all the talking.

And, it looks like it's a reality we will need to adjust to sooner rather than later.
 

neiphin

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It'll be hard to imagine what civic debate and even basic news reporting is going to look like with the death of newspapers. Because of the independence provided by paid for sales, they were able set a news agenda which didn't always suit the rich and powerful. You'd have to imagine that in the brave new world money will do all the talking.
are you serious
 

jmcc

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There certainly seems to be a movement to highlight "fake news" and push the credentials of traditional media.
Basically, the traditional media have had their lies and failings pointed out by the great unwashed on Social Media.

The problem is in Ireland at least our traditional media have a very poor record of highlighting failings at higher levels in our society.
The problem is deeper. The traditional media basically wanted to be part of the higher levels of society and thus were less likely to criticise those whom they sought to join. It was evident in the way that journalism was hijacked and "gentrified" by Third Level production lines that churned out journalist/PR flacks with a degree. Previously, there was a long apprenticeship for journalists.

The fundamental flaw with the Irish print media is that it shifted away from news coverage and reporting in the 1990s towards commentary. Commentary is cheap and any whinger with an opinion was used to fill space. The more "controversial" the opinion, the better. Along the way, the Web took off and it was possible for people to voice their own opinions to wider audiences. As the Web, and later Social Media, grew, the opinions of the Commentariat became irrelevant but the newspapers were too heavily invested in their mistake. The impact of radio and TV did not help matters as people turned to radio and more so TV for their news. The traditional "yesterday's news tomorrow" model of print newspapers was in serious trouble. Some of the newspapers tried to adjust to a 24 hour news cycle and even launched websites. These websites faced the cannibalisation problem where print content was being used to get readers on the websites. (The Irish Times made a complete mess of first paywall.) Getting people to subscribe online is far more difficult than churning out print editions where people buy out of habit. With online publications, people choose what they want to read. This is a massive shift in power from the publication to the reader and it was evident since the early 2000s. Amazon was clever enough to turn that into its recommendation system. None of the Irish newspapers had the intellect to use that to build a kind of "Daily Me" newspaper for online subscribers. The management is stuck in the "one size fits all" mindset of the 19th century.

I'm no SF fan but their rise appears to have largely caught our subservient media on the hop. There is widespread disenchantment with our health and housing situation. Traditional parties didn't address this and weren't questioned by our media. I had reduced paper purchases to the IT on Saturday but stopped that a few years back. For those younger there is no tradition of purchasing and i honestly cant see how that will change. The industry in its traditional form is dying on its feet and to be honest they largely have themselves to blame.
The Saturday edition of the IT was meant to compete with the Sunday Times and the other Sunday newspapers. Not sure if the IT publishes separate breakdowns for the daily editions but the main attraction of the Saturday edition is the TV guide. (Or was. Haven't bought a Saturday edition of the IT for years)

A shift to a print weekend edition and an online daily edition has been the subject of speculation for those in the media. After Covid, some of the newspapers with lower sales might be tempted to move in this direction. The problem is that some of the readership may favour a print edition over an electronic edition and will not want to change. A newspaper switching to a weekend print/daily online model will lose readers and sales to newspapers with a daily print edition. Think of the management as holding on to a balloon that is rising quickly. Do they hold on and hope for a soft landing or do they leave go and perhaps save themselves. Covid has effectively changed their business model.
 

jmcc

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Seems that the Covid crisis has had an impact on The Journal and Fora.ie. They are not print media but a curious form of online media. The Fora.ie site was closed as it was not, apparently, commercially viable. It was a business press release kind of website with a lot of thinly disguised advertorial content. The Journal has now started to solicit donations in the same way as the Guardian. With the increase in online traffic, it might have been expected that some of these websites would have gained advertising revenue but it does not seem to have been the case. The Journal's main vulnerability is that its business model is that the Huffington Post in a tiny market. To paraphrase the Gruaniad's slogan on its commentary pages, comment is probably worthless and the Journal might be finding that out the hard way with its comment as content model.
 

Disabled student

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The journal has gone to the dogs. Their quality has gone down as I stopped reading it just a quick peep in and out. It's becoming more commentary based model ,instead of quality news. I liked broadsheet instead of the journal. The guardian online is where I go to. Stopped reading IT cos it's FG govt mouthpiece via the press. Also won't buy IT either.

Just wondering who owns the journal dot.ie???
 

jmcc

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The journal has gone to the dogs. Their quality has gone down as I stopped reading it just a quick peep in and out. It's becoming more commentary based model ,instead of quality news. I liked broadsheet instead of the journal. The guardian online is where I go to. Stopped reading IT cos it's FG govt mouthpiece via the press. Also won't buy IT either.
Basically, the Journal was an attempt to replicate the Huffington Post model in the Irish market. The HuffyPost was lucky enough to be bought out by AOL a few years ago. However, when a lot of funding was cut, many of the opinionators were out the door and the infamous "Learn To Code" meme was used to troll the Hell out of them.


The Guardian does report news and it has its own editorial agenda. The Journal seems, in a rather cynical view, to be just agenda.

Just wondering who owns the journal dot.ie???
The same guys who own Daft.ie and Boards.ie (the Fallon brothers).
 

silverharp

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The journal has gone to the dogs. Their quality has gone down as I stopped reading it just a quick peep in and out. It's becoming more commentary based model ,instead of quality news. I liked broadsheet instead of the journal. The guardian online is where I go to. Stopped reading IT cos it's FG govt mouthpiece via the press. Also won't buy IT either.

Just wondering who owns the journal dot.ie???
its like a something you would get from a Student Union . I cant believe they actually pay anybody. Proof if ever there was, not to let any kids you know to pick journalism as a college course, as close as you can get to walking backwards
 


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