The death of print in a digital age


“I work in a dying industry.  Newspapers will die.

“And what happens to you when you know you’re going to die?  It focuses the mind, it brings to the fore certain existential questions like, ‘Who am I?’  ‘Why am I here?’ ‘What has it all been about?’

“It might even raise the questions, ‘Is death the end?’ ‘ Is there life after death?’  What am I going to leave behind me?’  And,of course, it also raises the question, ‘Help! Is there any medicine that can fix me or at least keep me going for a little while longer….”

That is the view of Hugh Linehan, the Digital Development Editor of the Irish Times talking at The Huston School of Film and Digital Media in Galway, University of Ireland.

The podcast is drawn from that presentation.  In it, Hugh Linehan takes a frank and sweeping look at the challenges facing newspapers – in print and online.

We’ve known for a long time that big trouble was coming, he says. The twin pillars of newspaper revenues – sales and advertising – have been falling for many years.

Using the Irish Times as his case study, Hugh Linehan explores the three key issues that must be addressed if newspapers are to solve the ‘innovators dilemma’ (whereby innovation necessitates killing off the previous industry) – the business model, the technology and content creation.

This is just part of Hugh Linehan’s lecture, the second part looking at the law surrounding the digital news operation will be available shortly.

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