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ARTICLE: Rather than dying, print is innovating its way into the future

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The “meme” of print journalism on its deathbed is uncalled for, argue John O’Sullivan (Dublin City University), Leopoldina Fortunati (University of Udine), Sakari Taipale (University of Jyväskylä), and the late Kevin Barnhurst (University of Illinois).

The authors pick through five ongoing processes affecting print journalism, and they arrive to the conclusion that print will be an “enduring presence” in the media landscape of the future. For example, under the theme “migration” they note how the tide of abandoning print for digital-only editions is beginning to turn to launching new, financially successful print editions.

Many of the trends discussed by the authors relate to the “meshing” of print and digital in symbiotic ways. This can mean, for example, printing QR codes to accompany printed stories, or embedding actual electronics to the paper.

Furthermore, newsrooms are using the fruits of digital innovation, such as automation, to also invest in and enhance their print products. All things considered, there is no reason to assume print will go the way of fax machines, the authors suggest. Instead of a purely digital future, the authors envision a media landscape marked by amalgamation of technologies.

The article “Innovators and innovated” was published by the journal The Information Society. The article is available online from the publisher’s website (abstract free) and from the University of Jyväskylä repository (draft version, open access).

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