Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 The ultimate challenge

Happy new year for all my friends from the print news. 2013 will be a most perilous year but the challenge will be exciting. At the start of the year the big question looms over everything else: what can do the press industry to survive and fulfill the growing appetite for news the world over.

Lets have a look at France first. The outlook is very bad indeed. Advertising will reflect the poor shape of the economy. At best,advertising income will stay at the same level as 2012 which was not a good year. At worst, it could go down by 5 or 10%. It means that many dailies and magazines won't be able to survive. Libération and Marianne are the first to be mentionned by the doomsayers but the future is not rosy for le Monde whose budget is a bit optimistic. What is at stake is the good health of their websites that contributed albeit modestly to the profit of many dailies last year. However, the outcome this year is not so good. What will happen if the Web is also losing money due to a thankless competition from Google and social networks? It will be a very worrying for le Monde, le Figaro and several regional dailies.

Add to this dismal situation the crisis of the delivery system, ie Presstalis. The government missed the opportunity to settle the matter last summer. Now, it is too late to stop the suicidal strikes of the unions that sink the sales of national dailies and weeklies.

In the US, things don't look much better. The Washington Post, one of the best, is losing income and sales and has yet to deliver a proper strategy for its website.The fall of Newsweek shows that a certain way of delivering the news, on a weekly basis, to people who are already fully informed every day, is definitely gone. It is also obvious that intensive use of applications on mobiles plus Facebook and Twitter promotes the images of the press but brings no income. The American media have not found yet the solution.

And yet, top quality publications such as The Economist or the New Yorker, both weeklies, manage to work well. It should be the same with the French edition of Vanity Fair due for june 2013.  Our world is very complicated and people want to understand. A nice job for good journalists.