Newspapers need to adapt to digital age

I was interested to read your article on the digital future of national newspapers (MW March 30), and would agree that, with the digital age upon us, it is no longer enough of a pull for national papers to merely syndicate news on their websites.

With the advent of technologies such as RSS feeds, and readers no longer having to go off to a site to get the news, the concept of an online

newspaper as a place to go for classified advertising and for news information is being seriously disaggregated by new methods of acquiring information.

With an increasing number of online communities being created, old formats are disappearing, and you are more likely to see letters to the editor becoming blogs, with a broader readership. Also, the meaning of advertising and sponsorship online is very different. Craigslist, for example, offers both online forums and classified advertising free of charge, undermining a well-established revenue stream for newspapers.

With international networking capabilities and higher bandwidth, multimedia news can now be delivered to compete with traditional network news, providing more in-depth stories, and communities of interest threaded through discussions via e-forums and blogs. Unless the newspapers begin to take new technologies, like BT’s networked IT services, and delivery styles seriously and increase their networking capacities to deliver alternative messaging styles, their dominance in the market will diminish.

Julie Woods-Moss

Vice-president marketing

BT Global Services

London EC1 include your home/business address

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