Thursday, 6 January 2011

Beginning of the end for local paper?

UPDATE: Following Linda's response here are the drop in figures from the Trinity Mirror website which proves the original article I wrote is correct and not "off kilter".

Jan-June 2010 12.013
Jan-June 2005 14,736

Over 5 years it has dropped 2,723 which is 18.5% = 3.7% a year on average.

Here is the original article I wrote.

I've predicted this before and I'll say it again.

The Internet revolution is changing life as we know it.
The digital age is upon us and the way we receive our information is changing by the day.

I have predicted in the past that in the near future, books will become obsolete.
I told a friend of mine who was shocked by my prediction and said it will never happen.
I explained to him that we are entering a different age and Internet references are already used in schools instead of books. He totally dismissed my theory and now, a few years on we see the Kindle digital books on sale everywhere.
E Books and E Pads and I Pads are the way forward.
Why buy shelves and shelves of books when it can all be stored on a tiny SD card?

Where am I going with this you may ask?

Well, another friend of mine told me (a few weeks ago) that the Daily Post was going to print two editions of their paper. A West and East version for North Wales.

All well and good I hear you say as it gives us all the opportunity of more local news.
But at the same time circulations of local papers across the country are way down and continue to fall because more and more people use the Internet for their news.
Click here to see a statement by Trinity Mirror

So I have to ask, where does this leave the Caernarfon Herald?
Why would we need to buy the local paper if we've already received the local news in the Daily Post all week long? What can the weekly paper give us that we haven't read already? Is this the beginning of the end of what is a local institution?

Generations of families have looked forward to Thursdays to read the Herald and it would be a sad loss to see it go.
But, with every story, you have to (quite often) read in between the lines, and for me, I can't possibly see a long life for the Herald if their mother paper is expanding to try and save itself.

We have to remember that for quite some time now, the local paper has been taken over by Trinity Mirror. The Mirror has to justify that it makes a profit and repeating the same news in a paper which will become surplus to requirement will mean spending their profits.

My prediction is this.
Not only will we see the demise of books as we know them. (same happened to records, tapes and Cd's as we now buy mp3's, same happened to video cassettes and DVDs as we now enter the Blue Ray and 3D age)
We will also inevitably see newspapers become a thing of the past. Newspapers will charge for online viewing.
Local papers will also be online and not available in shops. The demise will start with accumulating all local news into one standard and doing away with the smaller papers.

We are already seeing the Cambrian News charging online fees

The question is, when will we be looking at the last ever edition of the Herald? The Trinity Mirror Group have already got rid of the Herald Cymraeg as we knew it.

Just a thought, what do you think?