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Paper and Paperless, Term Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1429

Term Paper

The media world has been greatly affected by the recent technological developments which have seen various media companies change their strategies and/or approach with an aim to attract more advertisers. These strategies have also been aimed at increasing readership of the various articles published by these media companies. With the development of the web, readership styles changed among the people, especially the young population, who prefer sourcing information from the internet which is comparatively cheaper and more convenient as compared to buying the printed newspapers and magazines. The media houses which have not put measures in time to catch up with the changing readership trends have found themselves in difficult positions in terms of reduced advertisers hence reduced financial returns (Kirchhoff, 2010).

A majority of the reading population has opted for more dynamic journalism for they believe print media is highly static within a given period of time. In online media, the website is updated at any time of the day with breaking news and short articles. Online media also provides for quick searches or searchable services such as calendars and entertainment guides. Consider, for example, in a country where presidential elections have been held and the results from different voting stations are being delivered at the main tallying centre within a given period of time before they can be analyzed and the winner declared. A given media house  goes to press before final tallying since it is routine time and so as to avoid delivery delays the next morning. The readers buy the newspaper the next morning and the reports of the winner are not featured simply because the announcement was made when the newspaper had already been published. This makes the reader feel like he/she has made the wrong decision by paying for outdated or inconclusive news. Such a reader gets discouraged from buying the printed newspaper or magazine and opts for the online media where the news is posted in real time. When a large number of people abandon paying for a given printed newspaper or magazine and opt for free news and entertainment online, it results in the decline of print circulation which in turn results into reduced revenues from advertisement due to lack of confidence from the advertisers (Dugan, 2008).

The technological developments have had tremendous impacts on some of the once biggest media houses in the world. The consequential reduced advertisement revenues together with heavy burdens weighing down major media companies have resulted in some of the companies filing for bankruptcy reorganization and others being forced out of business totally, an example being The Rocky Mountain News in the United States of America. Such negative impacts have resulted in layoffs and burnouts of employees and court rows as a result of unpaid wages. Some of the major media houses emerged from the bankruptcy process after being purchased by hedge funds. The demerit, however, was that some of the companies that bought the newly reorganized newspaper companies had no plan to assume their outstanding pension obligations which resulted into more court rows (Palank, 2009).

Some newspaper media houses have put in place measures to ensure their survival even when faced by the vortex of the technological storm. These measures include;

  • Initiating partnerships with other newspapers to share content and coverage.
  • Reducing number of editions and/or reducing the number of pages in each edition.
  • Initiation of negotiations of salaries and pension payments with unions.
  • Eliminating delivery of the newspaper to outlying customer areas.
  • Dropping or consolidating sections of the daily newspapers.
  • Discontinuing some features, such as stock listings.
  • Changing the kind of coverage provided in print product by focusing more on analytical and contextual stories and neglecting breaking news which the internet is much better suited to provide or deliver.
  • Venturing into the offering a digital online edition so as to ease the transition for older readers who still appreciate the newspaper format.

Faced by the declining revenues from advertisement and inability to raise new capital, some companies have been faced by the danger of breaching financial agreements signed with their lenders. When that happens, the possibility that the lenders could terminate lines of credit and call in existing loans becomes eminent (Taylor, 2006).

Recently, there has been an overwhelming rise of new media sources on the internet. This has been triggered by low entry costs and they include a growing number of foundation funded projects focused on investigative reporting, local reporting and in-depth health policy news. These alternative sources of news and information have become easily available to a potentially large audience especially through an increasing number of both wireless and wired devices. Such devices include wireless netbooks, cellphones, the iPad and the iPhone (Taylor, 2009).

It appears that the newspapers were slow to seize the online market consisting of billions of advertising dollars and which have been captured by internet companies such as Google and Yahoo. Most of these companies offer adverts on their portals next to news attributed to other publications. This has generated hot debates in courts and juries on whether or not the internet companies are making billions of money in advertising revenues unfairly, at the expense of newspapers. Internet firms have come to their own defense by stating that the models employed fall within the provisions of the standard copyright law. They have also argued that they do provide links which when followed lead to the respective newspapers’ homepages (The Bivings Group, 2008).

The impact of technological development has not only affected the media houses, but also other communication service providers such as postal corporations. In the recent past, the use of mail where one practically drafted a letter then paid for it to be delivered to the intended recipient was used extensively. This is being replaced by technologically advanced methods such as the use of e-mail (Dugan, 2008).

The e-mail is becoming more widely used since;

  • The message is delivered to the recipient from the sender without involving other parties, hence a high degree of privacy.
  • It is faster for there are no other bureaucratic procedures as experienced in postal services.
  • It is cheaper as compared to the ordinary postal services which involve the buying of stationery and posting fee.
  • The e-mail websites have other additional services as links to breaking news, most read stories, and entertainment.
  • The cost is the same regardless of the destination unlike the postal corporations which charge differently depending on the destination: either local or international.

Technological advancement in the media world, apart from impacting negatively on the financial cash flows of most media companies, also has positive impacts on the general well-being of people. The reduced number of print newspaper circulation translates into a reduced amount of paper used in publication. This is a good thing from an environmentalist point of view for it further translates into a reduced amount of trees cut down to process paper. Considering one media house it is easy to think that the reduction in the amount of paper used is negligible but when we consider the reduction over a year in one print media house, in all the print media houses in a country and finally in all the print media houses in countries all over the world, the amount is great and can not be ignored. Minimized cutting of trees to process paper has its own advantages for it increases/maintains the forest cover which results in favorable conditions especially by eradicating droughts. Online media enhances globalization of news in a given country. This makes it possible to reach the reader who is not necessary in the state or country in which it is published. In this way, people who temporarily reside outside their countries of origin can always be updated on the developments in their home countries. This literally reduces the globe into a small village for it becomes easier to get whatever news from whatever country (The Bivings Group, 2008).

In conclusion, it is upon the print media companies to adapt to the changes as a result of technological advancement if they have any hope of remaining relevant in the services that they provide. The world has become highly dynamic and so should the print media companies (Kirchhoff, 2010).

References

Dugan, J. (2008). New-Media Meltdown at New Century. Business Week, 9(4), 271-288.

Kirchhoff, M. (2010). The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition: Analyst in Industrial Organization and Business. Congressional Research Service, 1(7), 6-24.

Palank, J. (2009). Hedge Fund Taps Media Vets to Lead Creative Loafing. Wall Street Journal, 3(6) 123-139.

Taylor, M. (2009). Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism: The State of the News Media 2009. An Annual Report on American Journalism, 13(5), 112-126.

The Bivings Group, (2008). “The Use of the Internet by America’s Newspapers,” retrieved December 18, 2008, from  http://www.bivingsreport.com/2008/the-use-of-the-internet-by-americas-largestnewspapers-2008-edition/

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