Delivering Tomorrow’s Newspaper: The view from 2020


This is something you just have to see. Richard Watson of Future Exploration Network has created a fabulous article on the future of newspapers titled Delivering Tomorrow’s Newspaper, written from the perspective of 2020.

The article, dated October 18, 2020, appears in Changing Times, an “Initiative of the Indo-China European Union”, in its “Marginally Leftist version”. Click on the image below for the complete article (1MB pdf).


The genesis of the article was that the World Association of Newspapers was a big fan of our Future of Media Report 2006, and asked us to write something on the future of newspapers. Richard stepped up to the plate, and has done a fabulous job. The article is included in a compilation of pieces titled “Envisioning the Newspaper 2020”, written by invited media futurists. This has just been launched at the World Assocation of Newspapers’ World Digital Publishing Conference in Amsterdam.

A few juicy tidbits from the article:

“There is no doubt that we live in a timestarved world where people snack on information and where the common language is becoming visual. The anecdotal evidence against newsprint in this context is strong. Consider, for example, the death of long copy advertisements, the appearance of shortened versions of classic books and, my own particular favourite, executive summary versions of children’s stories for the time pressed parent to read to their multitasking toddler.”

“The cleverly expressed opposite of any generally accepted idea is worth a fortune to somebody.”

“Indeed the more that life becomes globalised, digital and virtual, the more, I would argue, people will seek out products like newspapers that slow things down a little and tell us what’s important and what’s not, especially at a local level. And let’s also not forget that physical newspapers, like books, are superb examples of industrial design, which, if invented today, would be greeted as a miracle innovation. They don’t need power, there’s no screen glare, they don’t crash, and when you’re finished with them they can be safely recycled.”

“As an early 65th birthday present to himself, Bill Gates is celebrating the merger between Microsoft and its long-time rival Apple.”

“Now you can enjoy a Space flight for only $49*.

* Does not include space suit, oxygen, or in-flight snacks”

The design of the article was done by De Luxe & Associates. Very nice.