by Yordanos Woldehawariat – 27.02.17

The uncertain future of print media has been a topic of discussion for quite some time. Communication is increasingly taking place online, and many believe that print media is steadily losing significance. However, others are of the opinion that this is merely a phase, and that print could never truly disappear. According to a survey conducted by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, respondents tend to believe that very few print newspapers will be read by those under 40 in 10 years' time (source: Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, 2017).

Indeed, the average daily circulation of Swiss print media has been decreasing for years. In 2000, the average daily circulation of all newspapers in Switzerland was 2,544,035, and there were 232 different titles available. By 2014, the situation had changed significantly: the average daily circulation was around 1,698,964 and there were 181 different titles (source: WEMF/VSW Typologie der Schweizer Presse).

Printmedie Titelzahl und Auflage 384

Figure 1: Number of newspapers and circulation of print media in Switzerland. Original Size
red: Number of titles, light green: total circulation: average of daily circulation.

Psychologists have also observed that print media have a different impact on people than online media, with print media doing a better job of explaining complex relationships. This insight should provoke the question of how to make channels more effective, rather than devolving into the age-old print vs. online debate. However, a transformation within the field of online communication is also taking place: more importance is being placed on dialogue and less on one-sided communication (source: Zeitschrift für das Archivwesen der Wirtschaft, 2016).

Fake News

A recent paper from Stanford and NYU (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017) suggests, fake news are not as relevant as presumed. Also surprising is the low relevancy of print media.

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