Press Needs New Business Model, Claims Professor

One of Scotland's best-known media pundits has claimed Scottish newspapers must find a new business model, in order to survive.

Writes Philip Schlesinger, in The Herald: “The conundrum for newspapers is how the increasingly ubiquitous online presence that accompanies print can be made to generate relatively secure revenues through various kinds of payment and advertising.”

Schlesinger is Professor in Cultural Policy at the University of Glasgow and a Visiting Professor in media and communications at the London School of Economics.

He continues: “Newspapers elsewhere in Britain and the USA are pursuing a range of options in digitising their content and seeking revenues from both readerships and advertisers. The most clear-cut solutions have been found by specialist publications such as the Financial Times and The Economist, which appeal to affluent professionals and decision-makers.”

He ends, by saying: “While Scotland’s post-devolution crisis in the press has deepened, of late political attention has focused mainly on the creation of a Scottish digital channel, with a new public service television broadcaster at its core.

“Quite how this is to be funded remains a moot point. An eventual new digital channel and the launch of local TV would increase the range of media voices in Scotland.

“But the more immediate risk is that there will be fewer voices if the press does not find new business models.”