During the 17th World Editors Forum, the results of the Future & Change study, conducted by the Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project, the Norwegian School of Management and the University of Central Lancashire were presented by project director Martha Stone and Dr. Erik Wilberg, associate professor from the Norwegian School of Management. "How to recover the revenue loss that newspapers suffered in the last years lies at the heart of the SFN study," Stone said.
The investigation of how editors and publishers deal with change of the newspaper business and explore new ways of revenue generation showed that key issues for the newspaper business are the finding of new revenue model opportunities, stronger focus on targeted publications and the increase of independence from advertisement. Concrete plans to increase revenue as mentioned by respondents, among them more than 45 percent from the top management level, indicate a stronger emphasis on business outside the newspaper business such as internet services, other print products, all-advertising newspapers as well as distribution services.
"Those at the top have a job to do", emphasises Wilberg by pointing out that the biggest challenge for development lies at the management level. Lack of leadership and different perceptions of the urgency to invest in potential areas of growth are the main obstacles for improvement, he said. The study's most significant finding shows that the investment in new product development and mobile platforms are the industry's way forward.
A SFN website which will allow for researching data of this and other studies is to be launched soon.