Clay Shirky: “That’s It For Newspapers.”

Jan 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Commentary

There’s an interesting article about Internet analyst Clay Shirky and his ideas for the future of traditional media at the Guardian today.

In the article, Shirky paints a dim picture for the future of newspapers:

Even if we have the shallowest recession and advertising comes back as it inevitably does, more of it will go to the web.

I think that’s it for newspapers. What we saw happen to the Christian Science Monitor [the international paper shifted its daily news operation online] is going to happen three or four dozen times (globally) in the next year.

The 500-year-old accident of economics occasioned by the printing press – high upfront cost and filtering happening at the source of publication – is over.

But will the New York Times still exist on paper? Of course, because people will hit the print button.

He goes on to make similar predictions for magazines and television. 

While traditional media companies are going to face unprecedented challenges in 2009, their future is probably not as cut and dry as Shirky makes it.

New media can radically undercut traditional media when it comes to some content – like news and gossip. Other content, though, like complex television productions, will have a lot more time to adjust to the new landscape.

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