Newspapers become irrelevant and media is reborn by 2022


On Thursday I am giving the closing keynote at Newspaper Publishers Association Future Forum conference in Sydney. I gave a sneak preview of some of what I will be covering, leading to a wide variety of coverage including in The Australian, by Roy Greenslade in The Guardian, on The Inquisitr, and on Mumbrella (including a rich discussion). I will also be doing some interviews on ABC radio tonight and tomorrow.

Below are my pre-talk primer notes – more detail coming in a bit:

By 2022 newspapers as we know them will be irrelevant in Australia. However the leading newspaper publishers of today may have transformed themselves to thrive in what will be a flourishing media industry.

Media revenues will soar but will be unevenly distributed. We are shifting to a “media economy” dominated by content and social connection. Yet established media organisations will need to reinvent themselves to participate in that growth.

The successors to the iPad will be our primary news interfaces. Australians will most commonly consume news on portable devices, of which the iPad will be recognised as the forerunner.

Digital news readers will cost less than $10. By 2020 entry-level devices to read the news will cost less than $10 and often be given away. More sophisticated news readers will be foldable or rollable, gesture controlled and fully interactive.

Journalism will be increasingly crowdsourced. Substantial parts of investigative journalism, writing and news production will be ‘crowdsourced’ to hordes of amateurs overseen by professionals.

The reputation of individual journalists will drive audiences. Many journalists, most leading experts in their fields, will still be employed in Australia, with public reputation measures guiding audiences on how much to trust their work.