We hear plenty of doom and gloom about journalism these days – especially on the print side. But Bob Guccione, Jr. is more hopeful, and in his Huffington Post article, he offers four predictions for the future of journalism:
1) Within two years, a major city daily will transform itself into a free paper. Home delivery will still require a paid subscription. The Sunday paper will continue to be sold and will morph into a hybrid of the best of a pleasurable Sunday-paper reading experience and a week-long events resource.
2) A cable channel will pass one or more of the Big Four broadcast networks in total viewership, chiefly because it makes better programs.
3) Google will lose significant market share, because viable competitors will create as good or better search engines and incentivize people to use them.
4) The Internet will not consume print, because it’s not strong enough, it’s not better, and it’s too busy consuming itself.
Guccione goes on to say that newspaper executives have to quit complaining and start innovating. That may not be new, but he says it so eloquently.
The future of media will boil down to, and pivot on the axis of, one thing: imagination — how creative we are in exploiting technology and, equally important, with content. The future will not be a war between new media and traditional media, but between obsolescence and vision. In that sense, it will be far more apocalyptic and transformative than just a bunch of old-line companies going away.
As for his predictions, they seem right on target to me.