Our Session “The Power of Print”: Will 2017 be the tipping point for print media?

Man reading the Newspaper

Despite having been written-off countless times in the past, the printed newspaper stubbornly refuses to die. It is astounding to witness the tenacity with which the more than 400-years-old news medium asserts itself in the digital era.

In many saturated markets – from North America to Europe and Oceania – circulations, and especially advertising revenues, are in decline. But from a global perspective newspaper circulations are growing from year to year, for instance in Asia and Australia. Print often is a part of a portfolio of multi-media formats – a digital summary when readers wake up, the printed newspaper over coffee, news on the desktop at work, e-mail alerts throughout the day, video on the mobile device.

The WAN-IFRA report “Print-Online Performance Gap” (jointly prepared by the Austrian trade publication 4C) re-establishes the rightful order for an independent media.


How will the opportunities for the printed newspaper develop in the future?

To answer this question Iris Chyi, author of “Trial and Error: US Newspapers’ Digital Struggles toward Inferiority“ and Ph. D. and Associate Professor in the School of Journalism at the US University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA, was using a longitudinal analysis of readership data of 51 US newspapers. Chyi’s findings, essentially, say that newspapers’ assumptions, and subsequent strategies, that “print will one day die” and “digital will rule” were woefully off the mark.

She concludes: “The key is to acknowledge the reality, drop the death narrative [of print], value audience research, and deliver quality content through preferred platforms. Albeit no longer ‘wildly pro t- able,’ there is still a future of newspapers.” Iris Chyi will present her research as part of the session „The Power of Print“ on Monday, 10 October 2017, at this year’s IFRA World Publishing Expo.


Print as a crucial part of the media mix

Her talk will be followed by a presentation of Ulbe Jelluma, Marketing Manager – Europe at Print Power, Belgium. He is convinced that marketers and their media and creative agencies are reconsidering print as a crucial part of their media mix. Major advertisers have recently voiced their concerns over the structural weaknesses of digital media. Effectiveness studies see the continuing shift to digital media as an over-investment and not justified by evidence. Experts highlight how online brands are using print to extend their experience.


Who says millennials don’t read newspapers?

A common myth is that young people don’t read print products. Ted Young, Editor of Metro UK, is questioning this assumption. Launched in 1999, Metro is now the most read newspaper in the UK in terms of monthly reach according to the National Readership Survey with 10.4m readers a month in 2016. While many still talk about the inevitable death of newspapers – the enduring success of this title proves that readers, and even millennials, still love print.

You agree or disagree to these opinions? The session “The Power of Print” brings the latest research to mind and encourages you to discuss the importance of the printed newspaper today and in the future.


The Power of Print: Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 1.30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Conference Stage, Messe Berlin, Hall 22.a
Moderation: Manfred Werfel, Deputy CEO, WAN-IFRA

H. Iris Chyi, Associate Professor, School of Journalism at the US University of Texas at Austin
Ulbe Jelluma, Marketing Manager – Europe, Print Power, Belgium

Ted Young, Editor of Metro UK

To the conference programme

Learn more about the WAN-IFRA report „Print-Online Performance Gap“

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