Context and Reflection: Newspapers and Classifieds

Speech given at Publicitas Swiss Publishers Conference

Earl J. Wilkinson

In recent months, so much focus has been on how newspapers are changing formats and designs. On how our products today are so different from what we produced 10, 20, and 30 years ago.

Despite our protests to the contrary, we are an industry of artists in love with our own work.

There are worse things in life.

Yet I am constantly reminded that newspapers are not changing in a vacuum. We're not changing because we want to change. We're changing because the market demands that we change.

What's happening among the world's 8,000 daily newspapers is the separation of an activity's true value from the 'shell' in which we're accustomed to that activity being delivered in. In some cases, these are newspaper features. In other cases, these are newspaper business activities.