Newspapers are well-placed to succeed in the modern media environment, and forecasters who predict the industry’s decline are making “a profound mistake”, this remark of Gavin O’Reilly, President, World Association of Newspapers, set the tone for the Day 3 morning sessions at the 61st World Newspaper Congress in Göteborg, Sweden.
Making the case for a vibrant future for the newspaper industry, O’Reilly said, “The fact is that newspapers are winning well in a world of heightened digital fragmentation. In properly assessing the performance of newspapers, one needs to calmly analyse the underlying audience trends for our industry – the quantum of our readership and the quality demographic that we deliver, coupled with the incremental and growing audience that we garner from online. And the conclusion is that our industry is extremely well-positioned at weathering the storm that is media fragmentation, guaranteeing as we do sizeable, reliable and relatively stable audiences.”
He noted that newspapers were a $190 billion dollar industry globally, reaching 1.7 billion readers daily, and the industry was expected to grow its advertising by 17 per cent over the next five years, or at a faster rate than the preceding five years.
“Newspapers are a vibrant, relevant and commercial proposition for readers and advertisers alike. For investors, the investment in new technology and the delivery of new audiences produces an unrivalled cocktail of success: strong, definable demographics coupled with strong margins delivering consistent returns,” O’Reilly added.
He further said, “All of us in the industry know the big strategic issues and challenges at play in the fast evolving digital world – and, the really successful publishers are those who recognise and capitalise on the newspaper’s relative position in the busy media matrix. Happily, that is the majority of publishers today.”