In an increasingly digital world, the free flow of information has lowered the value of paid news.
News providers, which could earlier rely on advertising to subsidise journalism, continue to face aggressive competition from global tech giants and are being forced to find new revenue streams.
The impact of technology on how we consume content, especially news and information cannot be understated. However, the News industry is on a precipice; an opportunity, which may not again be presented, to potentially course-correct the industry and swing the balance of power back to favor journalism.
The most seismic shift to the media landscape has been the emergence and dominance of platforms including Facebook which have overtaken traditional channels of news, distribution, and advertising. Not only has this placed incumbent news conglomerates in an unenviable position, but it has also thrust tech companies into the reluctant role of the gatekeeper for society’s most important news and information.
Public opinion on whether this impact is positive or not is yet to be agreed. What is clear however, is the single greatest shake-up to the News industry was not the introduction of technology in itself but the outcome; the consumption of news and content migrated away from centralised and capital-intensive sources (radio shows, cable TV), and opened up new, more digestible formats of storytelling that were never before imaginable.
The barriers to entry for content production/publishing are now almost negligible, which in turn will continue to encourage the experimentation of new ideas, formats, and concepts by both existing and new players.