AddThis SmartLayers

'Adapt or fail' warning as Murdoch hails golden age of information

Media tycoon Sir Rupert Murdoch is warning that the balance of power in the media is shifting from the “old elite” and that newspapers must “adapt or fail”.

He saluted the Internet as a “creative, destructive” force that will bring a “golden age of information”, to young consumers who wanted immediate access to news via their computer or mobile phone.

He said in the Annual Livery Lecture to The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers: “I believe we are at the dawn of a golden age of information – an empire of new knowledge.

“Power is moving away from the old elite in our industry – the editors, the chief executives and, let’s face it, the proprietors.

“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.

“Societies or companies that expect a glorious past to shield them from the forces of change driven by advancing technology will fail and fall.

“The challenge for us in the traditional media is how to engage with this new audience.

“There is only one way. That is by using our skills to create and distribute dynamic, exciting content… 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.

“Great journalism will always attract readers. The words, pictures and graphics that are the stuff of journalism have to be brilliantly packaged; they must feed the mind and move the heart.

“I believe traditional newspapers have many years of life but, equally, I think in the future that newsprint and ink will be just one of many channels to our readers.”

Sir Rupert predicted a future in which “media becomes like fast food” with consumers watching news, sport and film clips as they travel, on mobile phones or handheld wireless devices.

He added: “Never has the flow of information and ideas, of hard news and reasoned comment, been more important.”