The hares are running on the proposition that the Fairfax Media board is considering a medium-term plan to give up on printed Monday to Friday editions of its main mastheads in favour of a digital-only strategy.
And while we’ve all been looking the other way, News Limited has quietly downsized newsrooms and subs benches at several of its titles, including the Geelong Advertiser and the company has outsourced some backroom functions.
The newspaper industry is quietly dying.
But will it matter to most of us? Avid readers will miss the pleasure of print, but the news will still be available in other formats.
It is fears about the dwindling bottom line that is driving talk of abandoning daily newspapers at Fairfax and the paywall strategy at News Limited. We can perhaps get an idea of the future from looking at recent events in the United States.
Closures, shuttering and digital only “newspapers”
At least 13 large US newspapers have closed since 2007 and 10 or more have cut back two or three editions a week, instead of publishing every day.
The argument is that by eliminating high-cost low-return editions the more profitable days can be continued and the newspaper brand survives.