Murdoch: 'Complacency is newspapers' biggest threat'

Complacency rather than new technology is the biggest threat to the future of newspapers, according to Rupert Murdoch.

The News Corp boss has written the preface to the Innovations in Newspapers 2009 Word Report, published by the World Association of Newspapers.

In it he says: “Our success will still depend on the bond of trust between readers and our content, not on how many platforms we use.

“This annual report demonstrates powerfully how newspapers around the world are being reinvented in the digital age. I believe newspapers have a wonderful future.

“As printed products and as newly empowered news brands that deliver great journalism across many platforms customized to the interests of readers.”

He says that the biggest threat to newspapers “is not competition from new technology, it is the complacency in our industry among people who have enjoyed monopolies, who have to compete for an audience they once took for granted, who don’t trust their audiences and who have not responded constructively to challenges from readers who no longer think editors are omnipotent oracles.

“If we earn the trust and loyalty of our readers, good newspapers, and their electronic siblings will become even stronger news brands. They may not always be thrown over the fence each morning but their impact will continue to resonate in the communities they serve.

“Our role is to give our readers great journalism and great judgment. I am convinced circulation and readership will grow on web pages, through RSS feeds, in e-mails, on mobile devices and in printed newspapers.”

The WAN annual congress is being held from 30 November in Hyderabad, India.

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