Future of newspapers is still unknown

julian coman

By Jonnel Benjamin

The on-going transformation of the journalism industry is both exciting and frightening, according to the assistant editor of The Observer.
Julian Coman, who started his career as an academic, said: “It is in fact a revolution that is going on and it’s alarming, it’s exciting, full of innovation, full of possibilities and just a little frightening.”
Speaking at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week this afternoon, Mr Coman said the newspaper world is turning into a digital revolution, and newspapers are now able to create stories in an interactive way that they couldn’t do before.
He said a great example of this can be seen in a New York Times piece about the men’s 100m race at the 2012 Olympics, through an graph illustrating how speeds have changed over the years.
Mr Coman told students at Leeds Trinity the thing that had changed newspapers was the arrival of the internet, describing it as “ the veil of tears” and saying it caused massive problems for newspaper revenue.
He went on to say The Guardian had dropped 21 per cent of its readers over the last four years.
Some newspapers, like The Independent, were beginning to merge their daily newspaper with their Sunday newspaper, which in The Independent ‘s case meant 20 journalists were expected to lose their jobs.
He said newspapers were evolving online, but the big question remained about how to fund it.
“If anyone tells you they’ve got the answer they’re lying. There is no consensus.”

After his talk Mr Coman told Jonnel Benjamin that one of the benefits of online journalism was that it helped increase the volume of minority voices in the media…

To watch the video of his entire talk click here.

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