Michael Haller: Do we need newspapers? 10 reasons why newspapers become extinct. And 10 proposals to avoid it.
Everybody is talking about it: Daily newspapers are in a crisis. Next to the fall of sale figures and the drop of advertising revenue, ownship changes and the strong cutbacks in journalistic resources are leaving their marks. Many media producers declare the newspaper dead, others have handy solution strategies. But both sides neglect thorough trend analyses of the media change.
Internet and the changing lifestyles of young people contribute to the dreadful state. Overlooked is, that newspaper producers themselves contribute to intensify the crisis. Many refuse the effort to understand their audience and its expectations on newspapers, and refuse to accept the changed behaviour of young adults. They don’t see, that the biggest share – that are the working adults from 35 years up – is still open for a stimulating daily newspaper with high information content. This readership expects their daily newspaper to be an orientation in the daily flood of information – and reacts disappointed, because their papers often reduce content and become step by step storytellers.
On the foundation of long-term surveys and empirical studies, the author shows when and why newspapers have lost their readers. Therefore their loss of range, which is traceable back to a chasm between media reality and reader expectations, is not a law of nature. Following the results of Michael Haller, there are ways to close the gap between the young onliners and the older offliners. The author frames suggestions, how papers can find back their voice in the cross- and multimedia concert and exploit new readerships. In Do we need Newspapers, he discusses the potential that is still hiding in the category ”Regional Newspaper” and its distribution area.