Traditional UAE newspapers to be extinct by 2028, says expert

Arab Media Forum hears that newspapers in Saudi Arabia are likely to have longer shelf-life of 2034

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Traditional newspapers in the UAE will be extinct by 2028, an expert has predicted as readers continue to migrate to digital alternatives.

Ross Dawson, renowned researcher and futurist, told the 13th edition of the Arab Media Forum that newspapers will likely have a longer shelf life than in many countries around the world.

In the US, he predicted the extinction date would be as soon as 2017, with UK and Icelandic newspapers suffering a similar fate two years later.

Dawson said it would be 2022 for Australia and Hong Kong, 2030 in Germany, a year later in Japan 2031, while newspapers in Saudi Arabia would survive until 2034.

In most countries, newspapers were likely to remain in print until at least 2040, Dawson added.

He also said opportunity is exploding for Arab media organisations as the Arab World is faster in adopting new media. He said Arab media should shift away from old channels to marry new channels, create contents for global audience and recognise community attitude to stay afloat in the Internet era.

"Newspapers in their current form will become insignificant in the years to come due to stiff competition with other media platforms," he claimed.

"Key factors that speed up newspaper extinction are increasing cost, performance of mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, changes in newsprint and print production costs, trends in advertising spend and uptake of digital news monetisation mechanisms," Dawson said.

"Use of new media is on par with global trends with high internet penetration levels in the Arab region. More people access digital media and herein lies the future of Arab media organizations," he added.

"People will spend more time on new media such as internet, digital TV, analog TV, whereas they will spend less time on print media, as low as less than about five hours per week, but as high as 85 hours per week on internet," the media futurist said.

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