Wednesday, December 3, 2008

National newspapers going free within 10 years

Former editor of the Daily Mirror Piers Morgan said that all national newspapers will be free within 10 years, and his paper should be the kick-off to the transition, according to Press Gazette.

Now a television personality, Morgan's interview in the British Journalism Review outlined the Mirror's path toward survival, starting by beating its competition, The Sun, in going free.

Morgan said he did not see a "future" for the paper any other way, saying Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey needed to realize that the Sun would "kill" the Mirror if it did the same.

Free daily Metro has gained on the Mirror's falling distribution, and is now only 60,000 copies from overtaking the paid paper's daily circulation of 1.42 million, according to ABC figures for October.

Readers are "bombarded" with free papers, Morgan said, which are only getting better in their content and quality.

Morgan praised the efforts of journalists working on the Mirror today who face a "ferociously competitive environment" with TV and the Internet, who face a "more difficult job than their predecessors."

Despite the Mirror's efforts, however, Morgan predicted that newspapers in print form would "die out," and only be around for another 30 years because of the onslaught of new media forms and the free daily paper industry.

"Look, if you gave away a free cup of coffee to every commuter in every city in Britain, eventually nobody is going to buy a coffee because their perception of a cup of coffee is that it's worth nothing;" Morgan said.

Source: Press Gazette

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