Is video set to elbow out newspapers?

By nicasaurusrex via Flickr Creative Commons

Newsnight had a fascinating and (for a print geek like me) faintly depressing debate about the future of newspapers last night featuring a starry panel of newspaper editors, a Google bod and the BBC’s director general Mark Thompson.

Watch the debate here.

What made my ears really prick up was the point when Jeremy Paxman commented, in his sneering fashion, that even leaving aside the massive structural and financial problems faced by newspapers these days, it was striking how young people now prefer – and expect – video.

Mark Thompson then made the point, unchallenged by the supposed defenders of the written word, that this new generation will consume the bulk of their news online, and they will expect any picture they touch to spring into motion and offer them video content.

Producing this amount of quality video content seems like a huge burden to put onto newsrooms, and I worry about what will become of long-form, in-depth written journalism. Still, I’ve always quite liked the idea of moving pictures when they pop up in newspapers in Harry Potter, so perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom.

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