Newspapers need to be aware of changing attitudes, not least in trendsetting communities

Darmstadt, (PresseBox) - A year and a half ago, Ifra’s Where NEWS? project set itself the ambitious task of attempting to paint a comprehensive picture of all the factors which will influence media consumption in the coming five, ten and fifteen years (www.ifra.com/wherenews). This is done through the commissioning and publication of research reports from leading European institutes. The latest report covers one of the most difficult aspects to predict; the non-technical drivers affecting society, media itself and individual preferences. This area is influenced, for example, by the sudden appearance of trendsetters, which may rapidly change the media consumption preferences of certain groups, subcultures or individuals. Examples are MySpace, the iPod and wikis.

The report, "Drivers of change in media channels" is the sixth to be published as part of Ifra’s three-year research initiative Where NEWS?, which has a budget of over €1 million. The new report was commissioned by Ifra and researched and written by the Department of Media Technology and Graphic Arts at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. The authors identify seven major non-technical driving forces which will lead to changes in the media communication systems. The report also deals with the possible effects of these trends on media channels. The seven key trends include consumer generated content, ubiquity and mobility, commoditisation of news media and content aggregation and search.

Prof. Nils Enlund, one of the authors, explains what newspapers can learn from the research underpinning the report: "The main lesson is probably that newspapers must be sensitive to and aware of changing attitudes and widespread conceptions in society in general and in trendsetting subcultures in particular."

Immediately preceding the report on non-technical drivers of change, Where NEWS? Report #5 was published, the second in the series to cover broader economic and societal changes. The report, "Economic and selected institutional framework conditions in Northern America and Europe up to 2020", was written by IWG Bonn (Institut für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft), as was Report # 4 on socio-economic and demographic trends. The new report focuses on issues such as trade, employment, environmental regulation, media legislation and education. It identifies some main trends, including continued globalisation, increased environmental regulation and deregulation in legislation covering media.

To obtain the reports Ifra members can access free of charge all information and results of the new Where NEWS? project under the web address www.ifra.com/wherenews. They can also receive the corresponding reports free of charge by mail and, on request, a special folder in which to file them. Non-members can buy the reports.

Ulrike Leis-Kolb Ifra will be pleased to provide all details about how to obtain Ifra Special Reports. She can be contacted by phone at +49.6151.733-772 or by e-Mail leiskolb@ifra.com.

For more information about Ifra Special Reports, see www.ifra.com/specialreports.

The following Reports of the Where NEWS? series have been published so far:

– No. 1: "Business Models of Newspaper Publishing Companies" (2006).
– No. 2: "Strategy-Making in Changing Industries" (2006).
– No. 3: "The Future Development of Media and Communication Technology" (2007).
– No. 4: "Demographic and Socio-Economic Trends in Northern America and Europe up to 2020" (2007).
– No. 5: "Economic and selected institutional framework conditions in Northern America and Europe up to 2020" (2007).
– No. 6: "Drivers of change in media channels" (2007).

The following reports will be released Q1 2008:

– No. 7: "Future of Printing Technologies".
– No. 8: "Scenario Development Workshop Documentation".

Accompanying Ifra event The following Ifra event accompany the Where NEWS? project:

– 3rd Ifra conference "Business Models for Newspaper Publishers", Rome, Italy 9–10 Oct, 2008.

About KTH

The Royal Institute of Technology (www.kth.se) in Stockholm comprises 11 schools, one of which is the School of Computer Science and Communication. Within it, the Department of Media Technology and Graphic Arts. Research is focused on applied technology within "new media". This is defined by the Department as technology and methods for supporting human communication over distances in time and space. Within this broad field the Department has chosen to cover three specific areas and their intersection: graphic arts production, digital interactive media, and business development in media. These areas are highly interdisciplinary, and are areas where much of today’s development occurs.

About IWG

The IWG Bonn (www.iwg-bonn.de) is a private academic research institute. It is an independent, non-political and non-profit-making institution. It was founded in 1977 by Kurt H. Biedenkopf and Meinard Miegel and has its seat in Bonn, Germany. The statutes of the IWG Bonn stipulate scholarly research on economic and social issues and a suitable presentation of the results to be applied in practice. The institute is free to select its own projects within the framework of its statutes. In addition it works on commissioned research. Studies have been produced for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Government of Brandenburg, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the German Construction Federation et al. With its practice-oriented work, the IWG Bonn wants to shed light on the economic and social area surrounding political and entrepreneurial activities, thereby rendering strategic planning easier.

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