The Week: Best of the blogs - The future is not so bleak

In "the future", there won't be as many big newspaper businesses, but there will still be lots of newspapers. There's probably enough ad money for some to survive, maybe less money than now but, still, lots of money. And newspapers will be funded in other ways: local authorities, community groups, whatever.

There won't be as many big TV businesses. As above. But there will still be lots of TV. As above. There will still be enough ad revenue to support programmes, though they may not be organised and distributed exactly as they are now. Other funding models will arrive.

And I don't just mean that they'll all become cottage industries. Big, global megacorps will survive. There just won't be quite as many and they won't be quite as powerful.

All this is, of course, obvious. But I get fed up with people going on about the death of some industry or other. The issue they're all facing isn't death, it's decline in the size of the businesses involved, but that's often coupled with a growth in other things. TV's business troubles have led to a creative renaissance. Newspapers are more widely read than ever, and probably more influential, while struggling to make as much money as they used to.

If you want to debate the future, the thing to discuss is how significant that decline will be. Will "Industry A" shrink to the size of, say, radio (which is still a massive and fascinating business) or to the size of music on vinyl (which isn't a massive business, but still represents a living for many people)?

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