Rupert Murdoch on the future of print newspapers – Moving beyond dead trees

Rupert Murdoch believes newspapers (or at least Newspaper brands) can be ultimately successful in the twenty first century, if the right approaches are taken to the huge opportunities facing the industry. Nothing revolutionary here, but a very interesting insight into one of the key players thinking on the future of the delivery of news:

From a recent Boyer Lecture (via ABC Radio)

If you discuss the future with newspapermen, you will find that too many think that our business is only physical newspapers. I like the look and feel of newsprint as much as anyone. But our real business isn’t printing on dead trees. It’s giving our readers great journalism and great judgment.


It’s true that in the coming decades, the printed versions of some newspapers will lose circulation. But if papers provide readers with news they can trust, we’ll see gains in circulation—on our web pages, through our RSS feeds, in emails delivering customised news and advertising, to mobile phones.


In short, we are moving from news papers to news brands. For all of my working life, I have believed that there is a social and commercial value in delivering accurate news and information in a cheap and timely way. In this coming century, the form of delivery may change, but the potential audience for our content will multiply many times over.

Rupert Murdoch, 16th November 2008, ABC Radio – Boyer Lectures.

Later, the story behind the move to a redesigned compact Times is explained from the perspective of the importance of delivering what actually readers want, not what people within the industry would admire, and still maintaining quality and commitment to the values of the title.

The full text of Rupert Murdoch’s speech, Moving beyond dead trees follow links to hear the broadcast audio version on the site. ABC also have an MP3 audio version of the broadcast (just over 10mb) direct download link: Download Audio – 16112008


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