Knight Center
Knight Center


Most printed newspapers will be gone in five years, says USC report

Most printed newspapers in the United States will last only another five years, says a new report from the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, reported LA Weekly.

Released Wednesday, Dec. 14, the report, "Is America at a Digital Turning Point?," looks at 10 years worth of studies from the Center for the Digital Future.

According to the report, only the very largest and very smallest newspapers stand a chance: "It’s likely that only four major daily newspapers will continue in print form: The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. At the other extreme, local weekly newspapers may still survive."

In response, journalism and media blogger John Robinson wrote, "Wanna bet?," calculating that printed newspapers have "another 10 years, at least."

Other findings from the report include the lack of credibility in social media content, and the impending replacement of the PC by the tablet computer within three years.

“At one extreme, we see users with the ability to have constant social connection, unlimited access to information, and unprecedented buying power. At the other extreme, we find extraordinary demands on our time, major concerns about privacy and vital questions about the proliferation of technology – including a range of issues that didn’t exist 10 years ago," said Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future, according to the center's website. “We believe that America is at a major digital turning point. Simply, we find tremendous benefits in online technology, but we also pay a personal price for those benefits. The question is: how high a price are we willing to pay?”

Other Related Headlines:
» Knight Center (U.S. newspapers and mobile technology: Avoiding the mistakes of the past)
» Knight Center (Sixty years of declining circulation suggests newspapers will perish, says report)


clemogus wrote 6 years 10 weeks ago

Printed Newspapers

yes this is great bro am seeing some great debate here

Edmund Dantes Hamilton wrote 6 years 12 weeks ago

Interesting Report - Personalized Newspapers are the Future

Hi Summer!

Thanks for sharing this report.

Earlier I read in Ad Age Digital 10 trends for 2012 and one of them was personalized news. But also that there seems to be an obsession with bringing digital things to life. Which leads me to believe my strategy for personalized newspapers that utilize an event distribution strategy (as opposed to newsstand, US mail, carrier delivery or street box) are poised to deliver more value for the advertisers and sponsors who support this emerging model. As far as I know my company is the only one to pioneer this model. I am using Meetup Groups I organize as the way to distribute personalized newspapers to registered attendees of Meetup events. Since I am just launching this I don't have sponsors (advertisers) at this stage. The publications use both PURLs and QR codes and interface with Wordpress websites I designed to be the online components of the print products. It's a very exciting idea I've toyed with since seeing my first Xeikon digital press back at Print 01 expo in Chicago. My goal is to acquire a Xeikon 5000 plus to execute this personalized newspaper game plan.

But back to your article and the report, I do not agree with it in it's entirety and I surely don't hate you for delivering this news (don't kill the messenger). So I am not looking forward to your obituary anytime soon, what a pity that would be!

I do believe that smaller publication will exist and I also feel that targeted, niche audiences will enjoy print publications. Especially those seeking to memorialize their immediate past, such as a trip to Chicago Illinois or other wonderful city by printing a personalized newspaper with photos of the Bean, Millennium Park, a festival, etc. These type of one-offs can be offered in a web-to-print service or delivered at retail in say like a Kinko's type store, especially if a great location is available on Michigan avenue (using Chicago, IL USA as an example).

Also, research (Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent survey) suggests that affluent audiences, those over 45, enjoy printed publications. Interestingly, I also read a report that college students have problems with QR codes! Hard to believe that.

Anyways, happy holidays and keep up the great articles you write. I would love to read anything you write in printed form, especially a newspaper!


Edmund Dantes Hamilton
Internet Webpages Newspaper Inc
Chicago IL USA

Dane S. Claussen wrote 6 years 13 weeks ago

"most printed newspapers will be gone in five years"

This USC report sounds even sillier than the previous one I have written about elsewhere:

Do the authors know that the number of daily newspapers decreased by only 60 from 2004 to 2009 (1457 to 1397) and a lot of that was consolidating titles that just had different names but same owners and similar or almost identical content?

Anyone who says all but four daily newspapers will no longer be on paper in five years is up there with the late 1940s futurists who said that Americans would very soon all be commuting to work in their own private airplanes, or those people around 1970 who said Americans would all be using videophones.

Or look at this way: the U.S. newspaper industry has never done ANYTHING, good, bad, or indifferent, in 5 years or less!

Bob H wrote 6 years 14 weeks ago

Printed Newspapers

I could not disagree more with Mr. Harlow. I will make the same statement to Mr. Harlow that was made to Ted Turner some years back after he made the same claim. We will be reading Mr. Harlow's obiturary on a printed newspaper.

Summer Harlow wrote 6 years 13 weeks ago

Dear Bob H.,

Thanks for your comments (I actually am a woman). I would like to point out that I am not the one stating that newspapers will be dead in 5 years. Rather, I am reporting on a study that is making the claim. Thanks for reading!

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