Judy Sahay

Thought Leaders & Game Changers

Saying goodbye to the Saturday newspaper

As the world goes digital, Australians are turning to their screens to source out the news, and shying away from more traditional means. With the development and release of Amazon’s Kindle in 2007, many predicted that print media would gradually die out, making way for the digital age, and now newspapers are beginning to feel the same pain as other traditional print publications.

It’s a change that media outlets are coming to terms with, and the response time has been rapid. Most major news outlets have revamped and increased their online presence, making themselves known on social media, and outlets around the world have their own apps available to download. It’s a mission for companies to make sure the consumer reads from their news sources, and apparently Australians are on board with the switch to digital.

In 2014, it was found that 81% of Australians owned smartphones, and were carrying around all manner of social media and information in their pocket. 63% of Australians also report owning a tablet, even further linking them into the digital world with multiple different news sources tucked away into a 400g device. With all of these advancements, it’s no wonder people are turning away from bulky and inconvenient newspapers and instead focusing on digital forms of news.

But whilst Australians might still be willing to pay for their weekend newspaper, 92% of people are unwilling to pay for news online. The Internet’s development as a place for information sharing and the wide variety of sources makes it hard to convince consumers that they should be paying for information online, even if it is up to the minute updates on what is happening in the world. Instead, we’re more likely to turn to social media to keep up with what is going on, as friends and family share the updates they are interested in.

For those who are paying for news online, it’s unlikely that they’ll pay anything more than $10 a month, purely because they don’t have to. There are so many other sources out there, so why pay when you can just as easily access your news from another online, free source. It seems that kind of money is being reserved for the occasional newspaper purchase instead. About 80% of Australians who haven’t paid for news yet have said that it’s unlikely they would start, simply because there’s no need for it.

As the turn to digital increases, it’s remarkable how easy it is to be informed. All the information needed to stay knowledgeable of current events is available with the press of a few buttons, so it is a little wonder Australians are so news oriented. Turning to both national and international news more than Americans or Europeans, Australians are very in tune to what is happening in the world. The wave of online news publications, however, has changed the face of journalism as a whole, leading to 30.7% of Australians being distrustful of news they find online, and often looking for credible sources behind the story. The rise in entertainment news sites is partially to blame for this, as reports are often rapidly produced and consumed with little credibility or questioning.

So, whilst the evening news might be playing as you prepare your dinner each night, you’ve probably heard it all before as you flip through your phone on your lunch break or open up your tablet when you get home from work. The fact of it is, online news sources seem to have more to offer Australians than traditional means can keep up with.

Sources: Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2014, Guardian