Carmina Crusafón. Professor of the Department of Journalism and Communication Sciences - Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Predicting what the future of the press will be is an exercise that is being carried out in recent times. There is no consensus on whether the paper newspaper will persist in the coming years or whether advertising can ensure the survival of the business. However, we can take a path that can provide us with the key: the most advanced media markets. Specifically, if we analyze how they are transforming the American and British press, then we can have some clues of where this business is headed.
Print publishers face a changing scenario, in which there are three change vectors: economic, technological, and social. Analysis of the Anglo-Saxon markets will allow us to verify its impact and at the same time identify the keys to determine what could be its future.
At the centre of the discussion on the future of the press are economic aspects, in particular those related to the business model. Classical revenue streams, such selling the newspaper and advertising, have stalled and new funding is needed. American newspapers are making a move in this area. The contents are no longer the only priority, and they have begun to complete what is on offer with other services. That is, the overabundance of digital information has forced them to reinvent journalism as a set of services to different communities of readers. To accomplish this change, they are transforming the routines of journalists where contact with the community to identify their needs is increased, and this results in an expansion of its activities, from content to services. In short, it puts the reader at the centre of journalistic experience. This multiplication of services derives income in several ways, resulting in new forms of advertising, organization of activities, related sales, philanthropy products, and so on. In this context, we observe innovation as a desire to achieve the expansion of income. We detect different initiatives and willingness to experiment, in both major and local newspapers.
The second vector, digital technology has become the central axis of change. It has transformed the media ecosystem, and distribution networks are no longer in the hands of the media. Among them, newspapers have lost their leading role, while social networks and Internet giants are the new gatekeepers.