Added value

After attending two lectures given by people from the news paper industry I found it very interesting to hear what Erik Wilberg, media consultant with great experience in the media industry, had to say. He believes that the newspaper industry is ending, an opionion which has garned him the nick name "dooms day prophet”.

Erik said that the newspaper industry can’t be about selling as many issues as possible, rather it’s about people’s attention. People can reach information and news from everywhere on the net, and thus newspapers nowadays seem a little superfluous. That is why the newspaper industry has to come up with a new way to be necessary and needed again. It requires innovative thinking and risk taking. Despite the risk of failure when you try something new, it’s a greater risk getting stuck in the same old habit with ancient newspapers.

Generations born into the digital era will probably not begin to subscribe to the newspapers when they reach the age of thirty. Internet has taken over much of the need for news updates and since the Internet is full of information that is both easy to find and free, the paper issues will not be necessary. Küng et al. (2008) points out that the Internet is changing all the time and it also changes the traditional mass media. Internet changes the way people search information and make new ways to take in news. Since we've got the Internet the traditional mass medias are convergensed into one platform where you can read your newspapers without an actual newspaper in your hand, watch your favorite program anytime you'd like without a television, and listen to your local radio station online whenever you feel like it.

“The Daily” is an example of how Rupert Murdoch is trying to create something new and make money on the newspaper in another format that will be updated frequently. I think it’s very important to come up with something that is NEW, in case you want to earn money. It’s impossible to make Internet use restricted by starting to take money for visiting for example Aftonbladet’s website. It requires an ADDED VALUE, something that is unique and that fulfills a need, which you can’t get elsewhere. Aftonbladet for example has a PLUS-service where you can subscribe to access more information and longer articles. This is certainly one way of dealing with the technical development, but I’m not using it and I think I never will.

Something that is certain in all cases of the media industry is that it’s constantly changing and the newspaper industry is now in the middle of the difficult battle between old habits and new opportunities that the technological development brings. It’s a battle between the safest and the most profitable way to take. It's impossible to predict when actual newspapers will be gone, however I believe the concept is disappearing. In the future newspapers will most likely only exist on the Internet, in some way. It’s time to come up with something NEW with ADDED VALUE in order to SURVIVE. It’s about time that newspapers wake up and come back to reality, because it’s here and it’s about time they start seeking new opportunities, because the end is otherwise near.

I think it will be interesting to follow what happens in the coming years to see how the newspaper industry deals with the technological developments. It will be interesting to see how the digital newspaper “The Daily” is going to work out and what next technological development shakes the media world yet again. Because it certainly is a shaky industry in constant change, where you have to prepared for anything. It’s a bumpy road and sometimes you can be forced to change direction in order to keep up with the technological circumstances and survive.
Küng, L. Picard, R G. Towse, R. (2008). The Internet and the mass media. Los Angeles: SAGE
Elin, MEM08


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Elin Adolfsson
Media Management 08
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