Flat prospects: Digital media and globalisation shake up an old industry

Flat prospects: Digital media and globalisation shake up an old industry
Reports of the death of paper, rampant in the 1990s, were evidently greatly exaggerated. The paperless office never materialised; nor, yet, have e-books. People still print letters and flip through pages of magazines. They also eat cereal and drink milk from cartons, and wipe their bottoms with loo roll. Computers have, oddly, failed to do away with such habits. Even so, the vast pulp-and-paper multinationals have been hard hit by the electronic age, especially in America. Demand for many types of paper there is declining, though mill closures and shrinking capacity buoy prices. Newsprint has been worst hit, as circulation and classified advertising at newspapers fall and the Wall Street Journal and other papers grow skinnier. North America’s two biggest newsprint-makers, Abitibi of Canada and Bowater of South Carolina, are merging.
http://economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8856093

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