Recently, the world has seen a massive blow to media and journalism, with the decision of the national newspaper ‘The Independent’ declaring that they will stop producing print editions at the end of March 2016. With the influx of internet users over the past decade or so, the newspaper has decided it will be more economically beneficial to focus their attention on the web publications rather than the print.
Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the paper, puts the decision down to the changes in communication that the internet has created for us. Their readers have decided that the future is no longer in print, but digital communication; a pathway that no doubt will soon be mimicked by several other newspaper and magazine companies. The current online market of ‘The Independent’ is 58 million readers each month. This latest innovation however is predicted to increase their online readership by 50%. It is true that the future seems to be online, and the younger amongst us are much more digitally aware than we ever could have imagined.
With such a massive change within the paper, jobs and lives are undoubtably to be affected. Plans for more recruitments in the web department will do little to help the 111 planned redundancies, although it may mitigate the situation slightly. Perhaps this is simply collateral damage, are a few job losses necessary for the promotion of the paper?
Is this really the end though? A few years back, the kindle marked what we thought would be the end of the printed novel, but how far can we say that the use of books and libraries has declined since its invention? On the contrary, the kindle seems to have been a phase that is now in fact phased out. I certainly haven’t heard it mentioned for a while now. Perhaps then this too may be a phase.
I have the feeling this is just the start of a complete digital re-vamping of the way we live our lives- potentially unnerving news for all of us considering journalism as a future career!