The Dark Valley – Newspapers
Having just written about The Dark Valley I came across this typically incisive article by Clay Shirky.
Shirky gets right to the heart of the institutional aversion to face an imminent reality:
When the press writes about the current dislocations, they must insist that no one knows what will happen. This pattern shows up whenever the media covers itself. When the Tribune Company recently got rid of their newspapers, the New York Times ran the story under a headline “The Tribune Company’s publishing unit is being spun off, as the future of print remains unclear.”
The future of print remains what? Try to imagine a world where the future of print is unclear: Maybe 25 year olds will start demanding news from yesterday, delivered in an unshareable format once a day. Perhaps advertisers will decide “Click to buy” is for wimps. Mobile phones: could be a fad. After all, anything could happen with print. Hard to tell, really.
from Last Call — Medium.
While Shirky’s reply is caustic it contains a deep insight. The trends that disrupted the news industry - more digitisation, more connectivity, more mobility, more sociality – completely rewire not only the business model of news but also customer behaviour and expectations.
People are not going to revert to print for getting the news.
This new behaviour (digital consumption of news) and expectations (deliver it to my device, whenever I want it, wherever I am, and in a sharable format) are set.