Rupert Murdoch delivered the bad news personally to fellow newspaper publishers in London today – adapt to the new information age or die.
He told United Kingdom editors and publishers the newspaper industry needs to embrace the technological revolution of the Internet, MP3 players, laptops and mobile phones or face extinction.
“Societies or companies that expect a glorious past to shield them from the forces of change driven by advancing technology will fail and fall,” said the media tycoon whose News Corp. owns newspapers and broadcast outlets around the world, including Fox. “That applies as much to my own, the media industry, as to every other business on the planet. Power is moving away from the old elite in our industry – the editors, the chief executives and, let’s face it, the proprietors.”
Murdoch added: “A new generation of media consumers has risen demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and very much as they want it.”
He described the 21st century as “the second great age of discovery.” He said the Old Media must figure out how to relate to and serve consumers who are more demanding, better educated and have more media choices.
“There is only one way. That is by using our skills to create and distribute dynamic, exciting content,” he said. “But – and this is a very big but – newspapers will have to adapt as their readers demand news and sport on a variety of platforms: websites, iPods, mobile phones or laptops.
Murdoch suggested traditional newspapers might have many years of life, but only if they adapt and recognize that “newsprint and ink will be just one of many channels to our readers.”