Downunder: Another prediction of the demise of newspapers

Here comes an Aussie crystal ball gazer offering his near-sighted vision of the not-too-distant future for journalism, according to the Australian Wall Street Journal.

Ross Dawson, author and self-styled futurist, told a Newspaper Publishers Association forum this past week: "By 2022, newspapers as we know them will be irrelevant in Australia." As goes Australia, so goes the US of A?

That’s eight years later than Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson told us six years ago in EPIC 2014.

Dawson also predicts news will more and more be delivered via that rumormill called crowdsourcing. “Substantial parts of investigative journalism, writing and news production will be ‘crowdsourced’ to hordes of amateurs overseen by professionals,” he predicts without saying what the quality and reliability will be. Can you imagine getting your news from the people who comment on blogs?

He also envisions a technological breakthrough such that e-readers will cost $10 apiece and even be given away. Perhaps free with your subscription to a newspaper? He predicts some news media will thrive but the revenue will be uneven.

And he foresees more personality driven journalism. "Many journalists, most leading experts in their fields, will still be employed in Australia, with public reputation measures guiding audiences on how much to trust their work," Dawson says. Where they will get that information is a mystery.

In another speech he uses Las Vegas a metaphor:


EPIC 2014 has been updated with a hyperlocal bit at the end.