Online is the future and the future is now

With bosses focused on commerce and ratings, papers are falling behind where it really matters, says Roy Greenslade – creating online material and innovations people are prepared to pay forIf you thought 2008 was bad for the newspaper industry, this year will undoubtedly be worse. I would say that, wouldn’t I? I have long been the harbinger of doom and, for reasons I cannot grasp, I am criticised for telling it like it is. But here is what I forecast for 2009, based on a combination of what has happened this year and over the past 30 years.At least one major regional owner will go under. Even if there is no further consolidation, there will be “accommodations” between rival publishers. More, many more, local titles will be closed or merged. More freesheets will vanish. Needless to say, more journalists will lose their jobs. As for the national newspaper industry, it is probable that a couple of publishers will throw in the towel. I somehow doubt that their titles will vanish altogether, but that must be a possibility too.

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