In Europe the average print newspaper hasabout five years of viability 4. Bar some exceptions, electronic sales andcritically gross profit aren’t growing as fast as print revenues aredeclining. The notion of paywalls paying – with some super exceptions – is not going. News media have always depended on advertising, and here lies our corechallenge/chance. The reason that news media – and other elements of life –are under threat, is largely as a result of the unfettered control andrevenue extraction of the Big Five electronic giants: Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Facebookand Microsoft.
Not only are youngsters turning to Facebook and Twitter fortheir news in place of connecting with traditional news media, however the beliefthat they in some way adopt conventional news media as they grow old is false, asthis chart of cohort behaviour over the years shows:Notsurprisingly, most new tasks are led by newshounds. With no disrespectto these often brilliant, pioneering writers, I check a loss of commercialexpertise and in many conversations, I would imply there also is commercialnaivety. There has always been a fit battle between the content material creatorsand the money makers, but today realism must be triumphant. At one time newspaperorganisations employed as many advertisement staff as editorial. Now the ratio isaround two reporters to each one revenue generator 17. In the recent news world the emphasis isstrongly on content with often little regard to the realism of earnings.
Meanwhile, generation itself is evolvingrapidly. The electronic environment is increasingly dominated by mobiles andtablets. By 2020 more than a third of all commercials – and two thirds of alldigital – can be on mobile structures 26. Mobile networks will proceed todevelop, with expanded bandwidth, and availability, and in addition advances in microand auto payments; think PayPal meets Vodafone. We read further and further aboutartificial intelligence, robots, data journalism, digital fact, etc – but myview is that while these may increase content material provision, they are secondary tothe want to name viable business models that can fund first-rate journalism.