If you’re passing an MRT station and see a vendor handing out a copy of your local commuter newspaper, then I suggest you grab it while you can. With the news that Newsweek is scrapping its print edition after 80 years of publishing, we are now clearly in the final death throes of the print media industry.
Newsweek is going completely digital with the last print edition being published next month. And there’s more bad news to come for lovers of the hard copy.
It was reported this week that the UK’s Guardian newspaper is poised to do the same. The bean-counters cannot see any other way out. After more than a decade of cutting editorial teams back to the bone, these world-famous newspaper operations are still struggling to turn a profit.
As much as I love the Guardian for its North of England origins, left-wing, campaigning values, it is the content which is king and I read it on-line every day. World-wide it gets 65 million original hits every month, an incredible feat. But with no pay wall, the group can’t turn this massive readership into hard cash.
In fact, some have suggested broadband users in the UK pay a monthly tax based on the BBC license fee.
The print edition only sells a couple of hundred thousand copies and bosses say they have to find savings of around S$15 million this year. More journalists are likely to lose their jobs and its fabulous content is bound to take a hit.
Weekly newspaper are closing at a rate of one a week and it now looks like international titles are set to follow suit. So, if you are one of the millions who cherishes the pink pages on the Financial Times, the iconic red masthead of Newsweek, or the smudgy newsprint from the New York Daily News, my advice is to get a copy while you can.
After more than a century, the popular daily newspaper market as we knew it will vanish completely in just a few years.