Journalism researchers have predicted more news titles will move towards digital subscription models in 2021.
A study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford has found the idea of subscription and other reader-revenue models eventually working for most publishers is now the majority view among editorial chiefs across the world.
The study by senior research associate Nic Newman, pictured, has also predicted a comeback for face-to-face reporting this year.
Nic interviewed than 200 journalism and digital leaders from around the world for the study – with around a quarter of respondents being based in the UK.
Three-quarters of those asked said the coronavirus pandemic had accelerated their plans for digital transition, with a similar number agreeing that a drive towards digital subscriptions was now rated as an important or very important focus.
A total of 51pc of respondents agreed subscription and other reader-revenue models will eventually work for most news publishers – although the issue proved divisive, with 41pc disagreeing with the statement.
A total of 73pc said they were confident about their company’s prospects for the year ahead, although only 53pc said they were confident about the future of journalism – with respondents highlighting concerns including the financial sustainability of smaller and local publications.
Nic also speculated on what else “might surprise us” in 2021.
He wrote: “We can expect a thirst for face-to-face contact after a year of lockdowns and restrictions to movement.
“Real-life events are set to make a comeback this year as Zoom fatigue kicks in.
“Journalists will get out of the office more, freed by technology to deliver more face-to-face reporting, becoming more embedded in their communities.”