The UK will be one of the first nations to see newspapers in their present form become extinct, according to a new study. Newsprint will cease to exist here by 2019, two years after disappearing in the US, according to Australian-based futurist Ross Dawson.
He predicts that, by 2040, newspapers will be made obsolete in 52 countries by new technologies such as lightweight, interactive digital paper that can display video despite being rollable and foldable.
He has drawn up a “newspaper extinction timeline”, which foresees newspapers dying out in Canada and Norway in 2020 and in Australia in 2022.
Governmental support for newspapers in France will help the format survive there until 2029, with Germany following suit the year after.
However, newspapers will continue to flourish in developing markets such as Africa, parts of South America and parts of Asia.
Dawson told The Australian: “In the developed world, newspapers are in the process of becoming extinct, driven by rapidly changing use of media and revenues out of line with cost structures.”
He believes that newspapers will be replaced once devices such as the iPad evolve into something more convenient.
This article appears in issue 259 of Media Digest.
Image taken by Flickr user a_whisper_of_unremitting_demand, licensed under Creative Commons.