Stupidest Quote of the 21st Century - first Australian entry (AFR 15/8/98)
Wed, 19 Aug 1998 16:03:39 +1000
At the risk of laboring the discussion about the stupidest quote of the 21st
century, it seems to me not a question of whether digital transmission will
wipe out newspapers but: what will be newspapers' niche, and will it be
As Stewart says no new media has ever wiped out old media, but stone tablets
these days are confined to a fairly narrow niche market in graveyards. Snail
mail will have a niche of some sort, so will fax. Newspapers? My betting is
the niche will be to convey the written word, as opposed to information (if
that distinction makes sense). The other occupiers of the written word
market will be books.
Our problem, I think, is that the cost structure of the newspaper industry
is based on delivering information such as classifieds, share lists, basic
news, as well as writing. So those costs will have to change as newspapers
find a new niche.