The future of print

I stumbled across this image a few days ago, and found it striking. It is an infographic predicting how soon newspapers will be extinct all over the world. It was created by Ross Dawson, an entrepreneur and author of the book Living Networks (which his bio claims predicted the social media phenomenon).

As you can see, the timeline predicts that newspapers will become insignificant in both Canada and Norway in 2020, and in the United States in 2017. Interestingly, the date for metropolitan China is 2031 (because of the Internet crackdown?).

Dawson also lists a few factors that could contribute to this not-so-far-away extinction, and divides them into global factors and national factors.

Is Dawson wrong? I’ve heard this same statement at numerous journalism conferences and read it in countless articles. It’s all over the web. The website Newspaper Death Watch keeps track of print publications that have downsized or shut down.

However, while print journalism is dying, journalism is not. Print journalism in its traditional medium, newspapers, is declining in popularity, but print in its new format—.pdfs, online content—is growing, and I believe that once the full transition is made, it will be as popular as the newspaper was in its heyday…

…or so I hope.

Posted on November 8, 2010, in Blog, Journalism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The Globe’s Pat Brethour told us (at the J-school) that his paper recently signed a roughly 18-year contract with a printer (give or take a few years…the exact number escapes me).

    He said they’re betting that the Globe is more like scotch (people develop a taste for it later in life) than like A-tracks (now obsolete technology).

    I wonder what they’d think of Dawson’s predictions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: