My daughters will never read print newspapers

By Steve Outing

My latest Editor & Publisher Online column, published earlier this week, is Where News Consumption Is Heading. This column is one of those that’s getting a lot of feedback (which is always good, even if I’m being criticized — which I’m mostly not on this one). One of the more brazen statements in the column is that newspaper publishers have close to zero chance of getting the younger generation to read print editions in the years ahead. Modernizing the printed paper isn’t going to help you survive.

I quote a bunch of smart people, and a couple pointed out how the dedicated news experience is going away. I mean sitting down to read the newspaper or watching a TV news program to get your fill in one dose. To replace that will be a swirl of news coming at you in bits and pieces throughout your day, on multiple devices that you may encounter as you move around and that you carry in your pocket or purse.

One pushback on the column is that what I and the experts I quote say is the future looks bad for in-depth, watchdog journalism. If newspaper print editions die and news companies adopt the swirl-of-news future reality, society will be badly served because of the lack of paid investigative journalists who formerly were paid by newspapers, which had the room to publish lengthy reporting. I noted that only in passing in the column, and will add here that that’s absolutely the vexing issue about the media shift we find ourselves in.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

9 Responses to "My daughters will never read print newspapers"

  1. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 10 years ago .Reply

    I posted an item recently with this headline: “Daddy, why did they used to read news on paper?”

  2. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 10 years ago .Reply

    I posted an item recently with this headline: "Daddy, why did they used to read news on paper?"

  3. […] Steve Outing: My daughters will never read print newspapers “Newspaper publishers have close to zero chance of getting the younger generation to read print editions in the years ahead” (tags: newspapers future online) […]

  4. Rick Waghorn
    Rick Waghorn 10 years ago .Reply

    The pitch me and my ad man use to our potential advertisers runs on very similar lines.

    My little man is seven years old tomorrow. He’ll never read a newspaper – it’s not in his genes.

    What will be in his jeans – not tomorrow, he’ll have to settle for a mini table football set – will be a mobile phone. Or the equivalent thereof. That’s where he’ll read his old man’s football reports.

    On what’s in his jeans when he’s ten or twelve years old.

  5. Rick Waghorn
    Rick Waghorn 10 years ago .Reply

    The pitch me and my ad man use to our potential advertisers runs on very similar lines. My little man is seven years old tomorrow. He'll never read a newspaper – it's not in his genes. What will be in his jeans – not tomorrow, he'll have to settle for a mini table football set – will be a mobile phone. Or the equivalent thereof. That's where he'll read his old man's football reports. On what's in his jeans when he's ten or twelve years old.

  6. […] My daughters will never read print newspapers. Steve Outing on the end of the dedicated news experience, in which he identifies a vexing issue of the media shift. […]

  7. Pascal Chesnais
    Pascal Chesnais 10 years ago .Reply

    I think there is a future for the small community news services – which almost went extinct due to the high costs of printing. With the internet as a delivery engine, locality focused media can be revived. I am looking at such issues on my blog as I, too, realize that my daughters will not be reading the print newspaper.

    I believe that hardcopy will be a small element of the news experience, but it will be at the expense of the individual. Portable delivery options – mobile phones, wireless laptops, and future devices will mean that the reading experience will be a distributed one. A theme we explored at the MIT Media Lab’s News in the Future consortium a decade ago.

  8. Pascal Chesnais
    Pascal Chesnais 10 years ago .Reply

    I think there is a future for the small community news services – which almost went extinct due to the high costs of printing. With the internet as a delivery engine, locality focused media can be revived. I am looking at such issues on my blog as I, too, realize that my daughters will not be reading the print newspaper. I believe that hardcopy will be a small element of the news experience, but it will be at the expense of the individual. Portable delivery options – mobile phones, wireless laptops, and future devices will mean that the reading experience will be a distributed one. A theme we explored at the MIT Media Lab's News in the Future consortium a decade ago.

  9. S Dey
    S Dey 8 years ago .Reply

    After they realize that reading (older classic) books havebecome free on the internet, they are also going to ask the same question – “Daddy, why did you use to buy older books?” That is the way the society is going anyway!
    Try out http://www.webliterature.net and you shall realize what I mean by thise.

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