News in the Internet Age

New Trends in News Publishing

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The economics of news production and distribution is in a state of radical change. After very profitable years, newspaper publishers in most OECD countries face declining advertising revenues and significant reductions in titles and circulation. About 20 out of 30 OECD countries face declining newspaper readership, which is now at its lowest among younger people.

At the same time, many promising forms of news creation and distribution are being tested. Some of these are empowered by increasing technological sophistication, new information intermediaries and the resulting decentralised forms of content creation. However, despite these new possibilities, no business and/or revenue-sharing models have been found to finance in-depth independent news production. This raises questions about the supply of high-quality journalism in the longer term and roles that government support might take in supporting a diverse and local press without putting its independence at stake.

This study provides an in-depth treatment of the global newspaper publishing market and its evolution, with a particular view on the development of online news and related challenges.



Business and Policy Issues

Given the central role of impartial news for democratic societies, the evolutions, its creation and distribution are a matter of public interest. A number of topics are arising which are increasingly at the heart of government attention, related enquiries but also specific actions. Discussions on new business models for monetising content, the role of non-profit foundations to support independent newsgathering and dissemination are ongoing in all OECD countries. In many of these fields, news organisations, civil society and governments will have to balance objectives to sustain a healthy news industry, on the one hand, and to preserve the independence of the press, on the other hand. Moreover, given the increased convergence of the news environment, the regulatory equality across technological platforms or the lack thereof is at stake. The question is whether advantages, rules and obligations applicable to newspapers or even broadcasters should also apply to online news providers, and whether the latter should have a special status. The final chapter of this study will put forward and elaborate on challenges and issues in question. It will start by providing an overview of traditional news and newspaper policies. Then it will assess current policy actions and options by reviewing concerns and activities in OECD countries. This chapter also assesses some policy topics in greater detail.


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