Murdoch: Complacent editors will be obsolete

THE newspaper’s bond with its readers will ensure its survival beyond the current financial pressures on publishing, Rupert Murdoch said yesterday.

The News Corporation chairman and chief executive labelled “complacency and condescension that festers at the heart of some newsrooms” as one of the two most serious challenges facing newspapers – with the other being the internet – in the third Boyer Lecture, titled ‘The Future of Newspapers: Moving Beyond Dead Trees‘.

“It’s not newspapers that might become obsolete. It’s some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper’s most precious asset: the bond with its readers,” Mr Murdoch said.

In a similar theme, chief executive officer of Fairfax Media, David Kirk, told the Victorian Country Press Association annual conference on Friday that the way newspapers connect with their community would secure the industry’s future success.

Mr Murdoch said the industry would continue to transform “from news papers to news brands”.

Newspapers would have to deliver trustworthy content online to differentiate themselves from the litany of other sources on the internet, he said. Helping the reader access that information would become increasingly important.

“The defining digital trend in content is the increasing sophistication of search. You can already customise your news flow, whether by country, company or subject,” he said.

“A decade from now, the offerings will be even more sophisticated. You will be able to satisfy your unique interests and search for unique content.”

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