Paperless society?

The Copenhagen Post is reporting this week on the difficulties faced by many of the city’s local papers. A downturn in ad revenue is the principal cause, unsurprisingly.

I spent the earlier part of my career as a local journalist and these issues fascinate me.

Last week I learnt that the St Albans Observer, the paper that gave me my first job, is to close, which really brought the matter into sharp focus for me. My former colleagues’ jobs appear to be safe for now. But the future for print journalism is a lot more clouded.

This isn’t new of course. Ever since Craigslist began eating into classified ad revenue in the US, the newspaper industry has been playing a reactive game of damage limitation, and generally realizing too late that the Internet represents commercial opportunity as opposed to the end of civilization as we know it.

I could garble on for hours about this but I’m late for work. I’ll leave you with this little snippet from Bill Gates, who believes, as I do, that all newspapers will move entirely online sooner rather than later.


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