Newspaper dying and newspaper crisis: daily paper - quo vadis?

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Während Zeitfonts have only had to cope with slight losses in range in recent years, is the dayzeitin an existential crisis. Will actually be the last dayzeitsold in 2034 as a Eichstätter Professor calculated? And does Riepl's law, which states that no imported medium ever supplants another, be refuted some hundred years after its formulation?

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Frank Heinrich 96Frank Heinrich, head of the Stensington Academy, was, among others, director of the European Media Academy, company spokesman for SAT1 and adviser to the Prime Minister of Luxembourg.


Newspapers with low readership

Young readers between the ages of 14 and 19, in particular, have lost a lot of their readers' loyalty to daily newspapers: While in 2002 they reached almost 47 percent of this “future-oriented” audience, today it is at most 27 percent, as Meedia reports.

The decline in the number of subscribers is the result: 1992 has been sold around 26 millions of daily newspapers. Today, this number is just 19 million. Due to the declining reach, more and more advertisers are moving to the Internet, for example.

The downward spiral continues

According to the Federal Association of German Newspaper Publishers (BDVZ), the advertising revenues for 1985 to 2011 from 37 to 19 percent have been broken down correctly.

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These three factors will briefly illustrate the problems and challenges faced by day-to-day events, and their co-operation is creating a downward spiral:

Will 2034 print the last day?

Declining revenues for sales and advertisements mean that publishers can save on the editorial offices. With the team shrinks the quality of the publications.

With the quality drops again the circulation, which has further decreasing advertising revenue. If one computes this trend consistently, as the Eichstätter Professor Klaus Meier has done is with the dayzeitsoon over. 2034 will therefore be the last dayzeitprinted.

Ways out of the crisis? Wrong!

Excesses from the crisis are far from easy to point out. In addition to homemade problems, day clocks create structural factors. Even before, they competed with other media such as radio and TV for the benefit of the user - and asserted themselves.

In the 90 years, however, a medium has been added to the Internet that seems to absorb the attention of the people with regard to the daily media mix. Reader habits have changed drastically, partly due to the lack of time and comfort.

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The self-cannibalisation of the media

The result is a cannibalisation of print, to which the publishers themselves have contributed to a certain extent. This is the case in the news area, where publishers have made themselves virtually superfluous through their usually free online offer.

What could be the way out of the dilemma for newspaper publishers? Certainly not by continuing to compete with the internet. Rather, ideas are needed. How can this look?

Because in terms of speed, the Internet is unrivaled. Therefore, print media have to break new ground to survive the faster competition. Does the focus on background information and local content provide the solution?

With quality against newspaper dying

News on the Internet can afford to be superficially and arbitrarily prepared - daily newspapers should pursue a higher claim. Why should the reader also pay money for something that the Internet makes available to him free of charge?

But is it enough for Print to return to its strengths? The right way could be to focus again on quality - that is the target group-oriented preparation of backgrounds.

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Quality has its price

Time has prevailed, even as a week-time, and asserted itself - and no one can say whether this can also be valid for daily newspapers and in general.

In view of the size and quality of the editorial staff, minimum standards would be indispensable for daily newspapers. However, this may be countered by the fact that the readership may no longer be willing to appreciate quality, including price.

With focus on local content?

Could another solution be an even stronger focus on local content to increase appeal and, as a result, increase reader loyalty?

According to a recent study, 85 percent buy readers' daily newspapers based on local reports from the local area. But will the local focus be sufficient to save the daily newspapers?

Sparzwang instead of quality

Attempts by publishers seem to have failed, rather, editorial areas were put together. But this is, in my opinion, the wrong tactics.

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I am convinced that part of the readership is lost - probably forever. Daily newspapers will therefore also have to be friends with a much smaller readership and corresponding reorientation.

Consolidation phase

The publishers have not yet been able to cope with the descent from the former leading medium to the pars pro toto of a differentiated media offer; nor are they looking for their place in the media landscape.

It is to be hoped that at least a number of daily newspapers will survive the consolidation phase and will ensure the highest possible quality.

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  1. Benjamin Wagener

    The quality has not only shrunk because profit optimization has been pursued, but also because more and more often there is no other way to keep up with the speed of the Internet by printing dull reports from news agencies without questioning them further and without doing your own research bring in. Then there are more and more journalists who not only report, but also want to give their opinion ...

    • Simone Janson

      Well, the research has also to do with the fact that less and less money is to be spent. And with the opinion is the profile neuroses of the journalists owed. Although I personally do not mind if journalists make it clear that it is their subjective, personal opinion, instead of hiding the behind-objective sounding shamings, which is also gladly done.

      • Benjamin Wagener

        I also have no problems with journalists contributing their own opinions, if they were clearly marked and limited to the small comment section in the newspaper. Unfortunately, however, this is now in the meantime with more and more newspapers through the complete coverage and that is simply not. The main task of journalists should be informed as much as possible, so that an independent citizen can form his own report. However, this is becoming more and more difficult if a large part of the industry is getting down to the IMAGE level and is essentially only pursuing opinion. If the ladies and gentlemen want to do politics, then they should do it gladly, but please in their free time and not by their abuse of their job.

        • Simone Janson

          Well, it's clearly about attracting attention because it brings in money again. For example, online marketers don't ask, "How many readers study an article thoroughly." Online retailers ask: How many readers does your medium have?

          This is stupid and short-sighted, but it is tempting to look for ways to raise the number of readers. About the digital important thing I wrote with imgriff times something:

          • Benjamin Wagener

            Yes, that's another part of the problem, and that's why so many of those people are starting to waste too. Unfortunately, many do not really want to be informed independently, but just get their own worldview confirmed. One prefers to think in stereotypes and prejudices rather than to confront reality and to reflect thoroughly on this and that.

          • Simone Janson

            Hello Ben,
            at the point we have now broken the problem down to the education system. A real solution, however, has no one to do this, I note this in all the discussions on which I was on the subject.

          • Frank Henry

            Hello, well, when I look at the developments on TV, unfortunately (!) I have to fear that quality - and by that I do not mean high-level and aloof contributions, but also good entertainment, for example - will only be of (hopefully not too small) Minorities are “consumed”. ME is thus with the focus on quality of ZeitIt is not possible to expect a smaller, so to speak consolidated readership. There is another aspect: it has meanwhile been learned through the Internet to obtain information for free. Which, by the way, also offers opportunities: Corporate Publishing (customerszeitpublications, member magazines, etc.) is developing extremely well. The objects are for the most part very high quality. Logically - based solely on their function and the issue of independence - these media also do not offer an alternative to the dayzeitungen.

          • Simone Janson

            The idea with the small but pointed target group is not new, however, according to my experience so far in marketing is not particularly good: Brandteers only ask for the numbers, almost never after the quality. In other words: size counts.

          • Jan Schneider - Filmography by type

            How will the rich and powerful be informed in the future when there are no more daily newspapers? While servants had to iron the day before, so that no blacks of pressure remained in the hands of the gentlemen, they must in the future gather information from the net.

            Perhaps daytime newspapers also function as an instrument of state press and public relations. After all, the state and politics in the sense of citizenship are also interested in spreading information about legitimate media. Then the state just as with the banking rescue and makes sure that at least the largest, best and most serious media survive.

          • Simone Janson

            Nice comparison. But the state and politics are only interested in print media because they don't know any other way. When today's young people are ready, they will probably no longer be interested in print. As for the servants: Of course there are also many electronic helpers that help with presetting the flood of messages ...

          • Frank Henry

            Hello together, in the discussion one already recognizes essentials
            Problems that the media houses currently have. The speed and volatility
            of reading will be hard to influence. On the contrary, the flood of information
            continues to rise. And the time pressure of the editorial offices has the same
            increased as the advances of advertisers, in ad circuit as well
            to be represented. Moreover, the question is absolutely justified whether the
            Newspaper must be printed in the future or appear environmentally friendly
            can. This even if I personally - comparable to reading the books -
            like to hold a newspaper in his hand. And the information you can get
            ultimately today in the net itself. The "real charm"
            but the day - to - day time is lost: for me the weighting of
            Themes and orientation, what is going on in the world and around me, the
            Commonalities about which is spoken, and the overview of day stories,
            which I should know outside my microcosm. That sets
            of course, also the responsible handling of the makers with their
            Medium - and an implementation that arouses interest in the reader.

          • Simone Janson

            Hello Mr. Heinrich, thanks for the comment. You are addressing an important factor - the haptic experience. Similar to the long-playing record, which is also an anachronism, but still enjoys great popularity.

    • Jan Schneider - Filmography by type

      In fact, occasionally the impression is made that press releases are only being investigated, they are then provided with an opinion and is good!

      I used to read a large, conservative daily newspaper, often getting annoyed at all the opinions (which, however, were still clearly marked as such). This may be due to the fact that the positions represented often do not agree with mine. Perhaps, on the other hand, the time has just passed by, in which the readers of day newspapers have promised orientation.

      but I do not know whether we are lying in the pocket of consumers when we punish the daytime with non-respect. We feel well informed when we read online headlines. But actually we have swapped speed against content depth. In principle, we remain at the surface and little by little much substance is lost.

      • Benjamin Wagener

        There are not just headlines on the Internet. There are also news formats such as Tagesschau, BBC, Artejournal etc. which you can also call online.

        • Jan Schneider - Filmography by type

          Following my subjective impression, I feel less well informed when I do not read a daily newspaper. Especially since I'm not bothering to sift several sources online. I expect an overview from a daily newspaper. I appreciate the opportunity to decide every day anew whether I read today an article from the real estate part, which I would probably never meet online.

          To put it another way: you wouldn't have a problem if the daytimezeitone day dies? Don't you think we'd be missing something? I am not so sure about that. Maybe it's just nostalgia ... Somehow I feel connected to this medium, not to say: obliged! Oh god, I hope that doesn't look too deep psychologically.

          • Benjamin Wagener

            No, I would have no problem with that if the classic dayzeitone day, because I already see it in paper form as a burden rather than an enrichment. They produce vast amounts of paper waste, are difficult to search for individual interests and even more difficult to archive. I would have a modern, digital dayzeitI would like to see where I could decide every day which topics I would like to read and by which editorial team to research. For example, the regional part of the Weser-Kurier and the national political part of the dayspiegel and the features section from the Süddeutschen.

          • Jan Schneider - Filmography by type

            I think such a compilation will remain a pious wish for the time being. After all, you can't order a chicken burger and burger king fries at Pizza Hut ...

          • Benjamin Wagener

            But I will not be forced to buy Pizza Hut the complete menu. I can get a small pizza and then NEN Drink in the juice bar a few meters farther and cozy to eat at home, if I would like. At the time of the day, the principle takes or leaves it. And not infrequently you get the digital edition only in the subscription and not in the retail sale.

          • Jan Schneider - Filmography by type

            ... not at Pizza Hut, at Zeitbut it is. In this respect, of course, the digital edition is not a real alternative to the print version ZeitIf you want to put it together, you still have to buy the entire menu. That would be a tempting idea. One could choose from several ZeitA kind of newsletter can be created according to certain search criteria.

          • Benjamin Wagener

            It would be a profit, however, if one could easily call an online kiosk on its computer or mobile device and the different newspapers individually digital could acquire. Some newspapers and magazines can still be purchased at all not digitally, but really only in the print edition and otherwise the most only in the subscription digital. And I can not understand this with the best will. Digital editions do not cause unnecessary paper waste. You can search for your own interests using a search engine or the like. And they are much easier and more efficiently archived.

          • Jan Schneider - Filmography by type

            A really interesting idea, as I think. Such an offer, however, would mean the loss of identity of print and ultimately only speed up the downfall.

          • Benjamin Wagener

            Yes and? Why do we have to cry something that no one needs? Cassettes today need almost no more.

          • Simone Janson

            There are already ways of compiling news from various sources. For example, Twitter is such a news channel. In fact, I don't read any paper eitherzeitung, if only because the format is too impractical for me (e.g. in the full underground) ...

            Opinion journalism is one of those things: in German ZeitUnfortunately, it is frowned upon to write in the first-person form, which is why it is not possible to identify it. However, I believe that the author's opinion always flows into every article, no matter how well researched - just in the selection and weighting of the sources. But of course the described trend of simply adding comments to press releases is alarming. This is primarily a question of cost.

            And here we are back to the basic problem: When I look at my colleagues who are constantly stressed out, I understand very well that for the small amount of money you no longer have much desire to do counter-research. And then it takes revenge that journalists are not experts in many areas and have too little insight. Of course the cat will bite its tail, but ...

            However, the lack of farsightedness in the management of many publishers is also a problem: you only look at the clicks, instead of investing longer-term. The ranking of Google, still the biggest traffic carrier, is designed to deliver more search results.

            Fear is there also a factor: The interlocking of PR and media is very tight, many publishers have also set up with the free content suppliers from the PR, then just to say we bring no more press releases is many a too hard cut. On I have drawn the consequence that I, the experts, like Mr Heinrich, then please write a guest post. Then the reader also knows who is behind it.

            Finally, one last point: In my opinion, there is still no reasonable payment system on the Internet, as Benjamin would like, so pay per item. Paypal is far too expensive for small amounts, Flattr too unknown. Incidentally, Flattr also takes 10 percent! The New Zurich Zeitung has programmed its own payment system. I recently realized that the implementation of a uniform payment system also suffers from lobyism: And of course there is crowdfunding, but my impression is that it depends again on the self-marketing skills of the individual. And the income, apart from a few special campaigns, is again a drop in the ocean. On I'm going to use the blog to finance not only through material sponsoring through seminars & workshops and thus deviate from my own work. Also kind of paradoxical.

            In short, a single dilemma. I look forward to constructive solutions.

          • Jan Schneider - Filmography by type

            ... I really like the Taz's “action”. When you come across a post online, you will be asked if you are willing to pay for it. You can just click “no” and read the article anyway. Of course, this is far from being a suggested solution. I think this action is good, because it makes you think: why do I expect content online to be free? I used to be willing to pay money for this kind of information.

            This trend, to have everything as free as possible with maximum quality at the same time, is quite annoying. A good example here is the whole food scandal. One is surprised that consumers are wondering.

            One more note: I don't know any current figures, but in the USA there are almost twice as many PR professionals as journalists (figures from 2005). In Germany this ratio is reversed (also in 2005). Perhaps this is another example of Americanization (even if the reference to the USA is as "80s-like" as I read it somewhere recently ...)

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