This week, Wired.com ran a “Dual Perspectives” discussion on the future of newspapers in the digital age.
In one column of the two-part piece, Douglas Wolk addresses the challenges that newspapers face as they try to remain both profitable and competitive while making their content available online — a landscape where most information is free. In the second article, Glenn Fleishman discusses concerns that the financial struggles faced by the newspaper industry are pushing many papers to cut back on investigative and local news reporting.
Fleishman and Wolk both conclude that the future isn’t as bleak as it may seem. Journalism will survive, they say, but not without adapting to the contours of the Internet age.
Fleishman describes how some newspapers are using nonprofit and ad-supported reporting to overcome the online hurdle, while Wolk suggests that papers look into developing mobile content and services that their readers will pay for. Both columnists point to innovation as the key to journalism’s future, but the newspaper industry isn’t the only one that needs to change to keep up.
Here’s a third perspective: The online shift that has posed such challenges for print media is also affecting the way we do PR. As the Web evolves and brings people more ways to communicate with each other, we gain new means for outreach — like Twitter and blogging — as well as new outlets to target on our clients’ behalf. Our campaigns aren’t limited to long-established papers and their online versions; we work to secure hits for our clients in blogs, podcasts and other emerging forms of new media. We also counsel our clients on how to improve their Web sites, build their presence in social media and strengthen their standing in Web 2.0.
The ways we receive news are changing and expanding, but by tailoring our business to change along with them, we can help our clients take advantage of the innovations of the digital age.