The newspaper industry is in a flux. There are making cutbacks. This affects different aspects civil society and government in different ways. A PEST perspectives provides an glance at the industry and how it will affect Political, Economic, Social and Technological spheres.
Introduction to PEST Analysis
A PEST analysis is a tool used to gain a complex perspective on a certain business or products. The PEST analysis was created by Francis Aguilar, a harvord professor. The letters of the acronym PEST stand for the different perspective that its object is being viewed from. Those being: Political, Economic, Social and Technological. This type of tool belongs to the category of Environmental Scanning and it has a wide application in strategic planning. It foresees the current and emerging climate of an industry or business. One variation of the PEST tool is PESTLE, which also takes the legal and environmental factors into consideration. Different analyses have application in different fields depending on the economies that support them. The tool relies on macro data gathering from the four perspectives of the acronym. For the purpose of this briefing, the PEST analysis will be applied to the industry of newspapers in both developed and emerging economies.
PEST of Current Status and Outlook of the Newssaper Industry
Newspapers, it seems are on their way out the door according to author Philip Meyer, cited in an 2006 Economist article titled, “Who killed the newspaper.” By 2043 Meyer predicts that they will be on their way out of the industry. The Internet is the blamed culprit of The Newspaper’s demise (Economist, 2006). But the current state of newspapers and the outlook has different effects from different perspectives. Using the PEST tool of analysis, the implications can be considered from a political, economic, social and technological lens.
Political Implications in
Newspapers can have a positive or negative affect on a politician and how the media, especially newspapers, will portray them is the talk of many-a-politicians’ strategic planning meeting. Internet advertising is the best thing that has every happened for targeting a consumer in a certain demographic. Barack Obama was greatly helped in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns by his machine’s prowess on the web.
Politicians will now be able to put into their strategic planning a more targeted rather than blanket approach to selling their candidacy. The candidates who can better manage the Internet will be able to better sell their candidates.
According to Mathew Ingram’s article on the something, Reuters, the news service where many newspapers get their reporting is also declining due to the shift in the media market. The multi million dollar project that Reuters undertook in order to update it to the 21st century was defunded before it’s completion, essentially, Reuters was shaking the white flat to modernity. This has already affected journalism appearing in the newspapers. The level of investigative journalism that uncovered, for example the Water Gate scandal seems not to be present to the same degree as it was in times when, as Rupert Murdoch was quoted in the Economist article “rivers of gold.”
Fundraising, as it is moving with NGOs, will move to an online market for politicians. In terms of government regulation of slander, it is going to be more difficult to pass slander laws that prevent erroneous rumors going viral online. Often it is difficult to track the source of such falsities.
When looking at the role of newspaper in the perceived future and it’s influence during times such as Vietnam, the cut budgets are going to cause newspapers to work with partners rather than having branching offices in countries of interest. The source of news from the trenches, so to speak, will come from people within the trenches, via such distribution models such as Youtube. In terms of this affecting regimes in power, they will have less of the ability to keep things silent. But also, it seems such revolutions that have happened online, such as the Arab Spring and also the Occupy Movement did not lead to as significant and deep of change as their counterpart revolutions in the 60s and 70s when people unrelentingly organized en masse.
Economic Implications to Newspapers
The Guardian reported in 2013 that Lloyds List, the oldest continually published newspaper still in print was folding. Since 1734 it had provided a leading source of news to the shipping industry. With 97% of its market switching online, it was a sound move to make. Rather than go out of business, many like Lloyds list are switching to being an entirely online entity. Still, this was a symbolic folding in an industry that is seeing major cutback in their budgets due to the shift in ad dollars. Slimmer and slimmer budgets will continue hamper newspapers as they continue to lose to a generation that came of age only knowing devices and the internet as a source for news.
Ad dollars go where they feel they will be affective, and between the gouging of classifieds money to sites like Craigslist, few subscribers, and less readerships, newspapers are bleeding incomes from their old hold steady sources of it. According to research done by Tim Worstall of Forbes, “The US newspaper industry is now smaller than Google.
Most of the chatter online about the changing and declining newspapers industry is directed towards the wealthy western powerhouse newspapers. A quick glance of share value of the major newspapers in the last ten years tells the tale. In Australia, a developed market of almost twenty-five million, The Australian reported that the total level of entry jobs in journalism in 2012 was in the “low hundreds.” Though there are more people studying journalism, this will certainly convince some potential journalism students to pursue a different career path leading to a decline in funding for journalism programs in universities and a decreasing number of formerly trained journalists (Christensen, 2012).
Social Analysis of Newspapers in Developed Countries
The changes in journalism shifting online will be how information gets to people. People are more and more getting their information from Twitter and Facebook rather than buying a daily newspaper. One positive side of this is that they will likely be exposed to a wider range of content than a newspaper put together by a staff of a few hundred people. The downside is they are likely to be exposed to a very polarized batch of news and information. Also, the level of discourse politeness will be lost in a world of free commenting and posting thoughts on shares of lines.
The technological implications on newspapers are clear: they are killing them. Patricia Sullivan of The Washington Post said that the “Newspapers are forever changed” (Sullivan, 2006). The adjective that she choose to employ was “Congenitally nervous” when talking about the newspapers own outlook on itself. Readers, she said, are abandoning print.
Under this outlook, newspapers as a physical form are dying. The content of newspapers, delivered by a different platform, is not so terrifying a concept. The change though will be a direct result of the technology platforms. These are in the hands of technology companies that cater to consumer’s needs. Under this reform, the positive outlook on this front is that there will be more information available and more people consuming it then ever.
The negative outlook argues that the content will be compromised and journalistic integrity and accountability will go out the window. Sullivan writes, “Some news organizations surely will die as the Internet disrupts and remakes the century-plus-old newspaper and half-century-old television industries” (Sullivan, 2006).
SWOT Analysis of The Guardian Newspaper
Strength of The Guardian
The Guardian is a well-recognized brand name and household name not just in England, but also internationally. The Guardian dates back to 1821. Branding is important, and the Guardian has a valuable bland. They company has received a number of awards both historically and recently. In the 2000-2010s they have dominated a range of British Press awards (Press Gazette, 2011). However, it is the weakness of right now that people are discussing regarding the Guardian.
Weaknesses of The Guardian
In the market, it is behind its competitors. In its paper form in 2013 the paper had a daily circulation of 189,000 units, this being less then its major competitors of The Daily Telegraph, the The Times. (Halliday, 2012).The Guardian has changed form and design several times recently, which indicates it, is searching to redefine itself in a changing consumer climate. It is the online format where the paper is moving, which allows it to claim that it reaches 9 million monthly readers (Halliday, 2012).
In the last decade the Guardian has had to support it’s millions of pounds in losses by subsidizing and pursuing sales and placement in other markets and holdings (Guardian Media Group, 2006).
The very same emerging media market that is replacing print media including The Guardian is an opportunity for the company to pursue a lucrative holding in the online market where advertisers are moving. (Halliday, 2012) The Guardian should not define itself by what its board of directors wants, but what the consumers will consume that will lead to selling advertisement. Another market to seek a holding in would be releasing high quality and desirable content to a membership of pain subscribers.
The Emerging media markets are like weather patterns and difficult to predict. Large media companies, like The Guardian, tend to be less agile then emerging and upstarts that can rely on new technology the delivers on emerging platforms of devices. If The Guardian is not agile in corning profitable shares of the market, it will cease to be profitable.
Lewin’s Field Force Analysis:
Lewin’s Field Force Analysis emerged from the field of sociology. It is a way to analyze a situation that accounts for the human factors of decision-making. The tool looks at the motives, values, needs, goals, moods, ideals and anxieties. Life force was the term the Lewin employed to describe the surroundings an individual has that affect their decision-making. The analysis tool can also be applied to an entity, as well as an individual.
Field Force Analysis of Newspapers in Developed Economies:
In developed economies, Newspapers cut at an emotion vein of people. Like records, or antiques, people feel nostalgic about the prospect of losing them.
The Anxieties in the newspaper industry are for those on the inside, that they will lose their careers and the jobs they have chosen. From Hemmingway as the novelist newspaper war correspondence, people are worried that such figures will no longer have a climate to work in, since the establishments that created their careers will have vanished. The upside of this anxiety is that it shows how much people want newspapers, and where there is a widespread want for something to exist they usually exist in some form.
The mood surrounding the future of newspapers is grim. As preceding citation have shown it is not just something that is being predicted, rather it is a slow fall that has already begun without a clear salvation in site.
Ideals and Values:
The ideals can be summarized by the Author Miller quotation included in The Economist article “Who Killed the newspaper” leads with: “A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself. There is something deeply romantic about this notion, and this is what those that are clinging to newspapers are holding onto.
The goals of newspapers are that they will persist in the form that lives up to their ideals. The silver lining of most of the journalist analyses included in this essay is that the migration to the Internet will preserve the ideals of journalism in their highest form.
One of the motives of newspapers is profit. That is why large, powerhouse newspapers have emerged. Another is a check and balance to democracy. This would be the ideal motive of newspapers.
Halliday, Josh (September 12, 2012). "The Guardian reaches nearly 9 million readers across print and online". The Guardian. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
Guardian Media Group plc 2006. "Guardian Media Group 2005/6 results
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“How many people live in Australia, a country in the continent of Australia?." How many people live in Australia, a country in the continent of Australia?. http://country-facts.findthedata.org/q/87/2389/How-many-people-live-in-Australia-a-country-in-the-continent-of-Australia (accessed November 17, 2013).
"Lloyd's List, the world's oldest newspaper, to give up on print." the Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/sep/25/newspapers-digital-media (accessed November 17, 2013).
"Reuters is suffering the same fate that newspapers are — it’s just doing it more slowly — paidContent." paidContent. http://paidcontent.org/2013/09/20/reuters-is-suffering-the-same-fate-that-newspapers-are-its-just-doing-it-more-slowly/ (accessed November 17, 2013).
Worstall, Tim. "Not the Solution To The Newspaper Industry Going Bankrupt." Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/09/25/not-the-solution-to-the-newspaper-industry-going-bankrupt/ (accessed November 17,