Future of Newspapers
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Nowadays we are living in a computer era when electronic devices have already replaced the majority of paper-based devices. Educational sphere is now advanced with electronic libraries, internet instant messaging, online education, and even the declining number of paper-based tests and exams.
At the same time, the area of business is using more and more technological devices which help generate formatted documents and electronic versions of everything. It is notable that even the application of letters and other documentation has already been formalized into electronic formats. Bookkeeping, finance, banking and other spheres are covered by the technological solutions and specialized software.
In this difficult period of time, it is extremely hard for newspaper to be able to carry on and remain stable in terms of their sales in paper-based formats. A lot of papers have taken advantage of being electronic and opened websites for their papers which double everything that is provided on the paper. But nevertheless, the newspaper is usually understood as a paper, not as a website. And this is the most difficult dilemma in current situation.
The books have already been reduced to electronic readers and are not usually accepted worldwide except for some reference material. Most fiction books actively enjoy such formats as audible or amazon e-books. And at the time when the publishers of paper-based books suffer from major losses, the providers of electronic versions make a lot of profit due to enhanced technology associated with reading from ink screens of e-readers (Solomon, 2012).
Researchers agree that newspapers have to seek for methods to generate more revenue and cope with the digital media. According to Ray (2009), ‘The newspapers today are compelled to delicately balance the twin challenges namely how best they can adapt to and gain from digital distribution and advertising revenue’ (p. 6).
One of th key strategies most widely applied by the majority of the newspapers is the application of the newspaper website which is an additional offer for all the newspaper readers. The website allows the application of social media marketing, online advertisement of the new articles and hot news of the week, and at the same time it fully covers the needs of those readers who prefer electronic format in everything.
Another popular strategy also applied by the newspapers is the application of special promotions for those who buy the paper versions. Newspapers actively cooperate with many companies who give promo codes to their customers. Therefore, the holders of paper versions can obtain something that the readers of electronic versions cannot afford.
Finally, promoting their news in the areas and places where there can be no internet and no availability of news on the website, i.e. airports, places, hotels worldwide. This is the most active and profitable strategy for the majority of the newspapers.
Consequently, it can be concluded that the strategies for making the newspapers profitable nowadays still exist. And these newspapers do not have to all be digital. According to Potts (2012), ‘overly cautious newspaper managers, convinced that the print golden goose was immortal and immutable, failed to fully exploit most of the opportunities presented by the new medium’ (para. 27). Therefore, the truth lies simply in the lack of understanding of how the digital media can be utilized so that newspaper industry gains a new vision – and a new image – in the future.
An important issue raised by many newspaper companies is the giving away newspapers free of charge (McKendrick, 2012). When the newspapers give their papers free of charge, it will not enhance profitability of the industry but on the contrary undermine the authority of the papers and their brand image (Obijiofor and Green, 2001). Newspapers are primarily very important brand selling not only news but lifestyle elements to their readers. The majority of newspaper readers liike to read what they are usually thinking of. This creates a feeling of a long term customer loyalty which is the purpose of almost every newspaper.
Therefore, if the newspapers are given free of charge, there will be no point for the customers to read them as they will no more be part of their lifestyle. At the same time, the strategies listed above will help generate sales rapidly and maintain the position of reputed news providers for the newspapers.
Selling a lot of papers to the hotels and airlines solely can already result in high profits. Adding cruise lines, where there is almost no internet connection, the newspaper companies can remain profitable for quite a long term period of time.
During this time period, which is set as a five year range, the Internet connection will reach even airplanes (mostly business class) and remote regions of the world. In this case, newspapers will gain a little bit more social image than before.
The industry will then require the application of less printed media due to the ecological concern, and the quality of the paper will reduce. Therefore, the newspaper companies will be actively investing in the electronic media and providing their readers with the paper itself and the technology for viewing it. More and more dedication and passion to the newspaper business is to be demonstrated. This enthusiasm will serve as the best motivation for seeking the methods to improve profitability of newspapers (Parkins, 2011).
Therefore, the development of the newspapers will face two stages. One of these stages occurs nowadays already, and at this stage the application of the above mentioned strategies is critical for the success of the newspaper industry. The brand image will be strengthened and will not be lost among digital media sources. The second stage will occur when the revenue sources for newspaper that are paper-based will be covered fully by technology. At this stage, new ideas will be required, but they will still be revenue generating for the newspaper industry.