Monday 26 September 2011

'Supply chain for newspaper is fragile' warns Jack

Ian Jack in the Guardian puts forward a gloomy scenario where in a few years time national newspapers could appear only a couple of times a week.

Jack, who has edited the Independent on Sunday and Granta magazine, writes: "If you like newspapers, the future looks dark. Only a couple of the qualities – the Telegraph and the Financial Times – make any money.

"If you like national newspapers and live at a distance from London, the future looks even darker. The supply chain that takes newspapers from printing presses to newsagents is fragile. If one big publisher, say News International, withdrew from the pooled distribution arrangements then the increased cost for the rest could be fatal.

"In newspaper offices, dark talk is common: by 2015 printed versions of the dailies might appear only once or twice a week, with a circulation restricted to London and perhaps a few other big cities."

Jack says of newspapers: "I shall miss them and not only because they provide a good part of my living. I hope the decent ones can carry on as long as possible. If you do too, the best thing is to carry on buying one."

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