Pundits express mixed views on future of print

PR professionals must look beyond traditional ­media for ­opportunities, according to key speakers at PRWeek's PR and the Media Conference this week.

Fenton: predicts downfall of major media brands
Fenton: predicts downfall of major media brands

Financial Times media correspondent Ben Fenton predicted that a major broadcaster, newspaper and radio station would ‘go to the wall in the next six years'. The threat highlighted how PROs need to pursue more avenues than traditional print.

Virgin Atlantic director of comms Paul Charles went further, predicting that print journalism was going to disappear altogether. ‘There won't be any newspapers in ten years' time. Technological developments, including using PDAs on the Tube and BlackBerrys on aeroplanes, will increasingly give people more access to the internet to find their news,' he said.

However, the predictions were countered by other journalists at the conference.

Telegraph Media Group assistant managing editor Chris Lloyd said: ‘Newspapers are being read by more people than ­ever before. We are committed to print, and newspapers are here for the future.'

Lloyd said the group recognised it needed to provide content across print, ­online, audio and video. He predic­ted the media landscape would continue to change and develop: ‘It is only going to get more complicated.'

His comments were echoed by The Spectator editor Matthew D'Ancona. ‘The website is as much a part of what we are as the magazine. It is not a clash, but a synergy between the two,' he said.

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