PARIS: Despite doom and gloom from newspaper industry watchers, those at the coal face, namely editors, are optimistic about the future of their medium. A survey for the World Editors Forum, part of the World Association of Newspapers, reveals that 85% of senior executives feel positive about embracing the shift from print to online.
The study shows four in ten editors expect the internet to become the primary medium for reading news within 10 years, while 35% believe print will remain dominant. Seven per cent forecast that e-paper technologies will take over. Almost half of those polled believe that most news will be available for free in the future.
Comments WEF president George Brock: "It is likely they [newspapers] will be more dependent on the advertising model [than circulation revenues] in five years time. This reflects the fact the business side of their newspapers is starting to say, 'Actually, there is advertising revenue online. There isn't enough of it now but we expect it to grow'."
Although 62% of editors and executives reported circulations had fallen or stalled in the past five years, John Zogby, ceo of the US polling company Zogby International said: "Print editors see the internet and its new journalism components as the next wave of their own business and are preparing for this wave, instead of opting to fight it."
UK Online Adspend Overtakes Newspapers
ZO reports that UK online advertising grew 41.2% to £2.02 billion ($3.96bn; €2.97bn) in 2006, compared with £1.9bn spent on national newspaper ads.
The figures also show the internet's share of all UK advertising increased to a record 12.4% in the second half of the year, the highest national share in the world and well above the estimated global 5.8% average share of advertising.
Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff