A local newspaper editor told London Met journalism undergrads why he doesn’t believe print journalism is a dying art form last Friday.
Ramzy Alwakeel, a 28-year-old editor for both the Hackney and Islington Gazette spoke up when asked if newspapers will be outdated a couple of years down the line.
“The website has significantly more people viewing it but that doesn’t mean that the newspaper isn’t well read,” said Alwakeel, in turn mentioning that “the number of readers is different to the number of copies sold.”
(Ramzy Alwakeel, editor of the Hackney and Islington Gazettes)
Although Alwakeel believes that physical copies of newspapers will never become an extinct source of hard news, he talked about how some publications may have to rethink their business plans.
“I think that there is always going to be a market for things that are relitavely niche.”
However, not everyone shares the same views as Alwakeel. According to Journalism.org, newspaper sales in the US (2015) dropped by 7% weekly and by 4% on a Sunday, the biggest decline since 2010. This landslide is arguably due to a rise in digital circulation, which steadily inclined by 2% the same year.
Richard Tofel, president of ProPublica (an “independent, non-profit newsroom”) produced a chart comparing the average print circulation of newspapers in March 2013 against the individually paid print circulation of September 2015 in an article entitled “The sky is falling on print newspapers faster than you think”. Said chart shows that every single mentioned publication has fell victim to a substantial decline in circulation in this timescale.
In his article, Tofel poses the question “how long can it be before print advertising prices (and thus newspaper revenues) come under further severe pressure?”
Alwakeel’s final thoughts on the situation: “People will have to adjust to a business model where there are fewer copies sold.”
“There’s no point printing 50 thousand copies if you’re only selling 30 thousand, you’re just throwing money away.”