Developing scenarios for the newspapers of 2017

Sep 04, 2008 at 01:49 am by Staff

Imagine the newspaper industry in a decade’s time? Authors of a new Ifra ‘WhereNews’ report reckon they can. And they say using a technique called scenario development will allow publishers to prepare for the future and define relevant business strategies. The conclusion comes from ‘Scenarios of media use in Europe and North America in 2017’, the eighth report in Ifra’s three-year research initiative. The report describes possible future scenarios of media usage, and provides publishers with tools for running their own scenario development workshops. “We believe scenario development is a very powerful and exciting tool for publishers to anticipate and prepare for the future,” says project manager Jochen Dieckow. “The aim is not to forecast one utterly correct picture of the future – the scenarios may or may not come true – but to create a better understanding of the driving factors, which will most probably shape the future and to trigger a discussion within management on possible consequences of ‘best’ and ‘worst’ cases.” The new report describes the process of scenario development as well as eight possible future scenarios, developed by members of the project steering group and industry representatives including publishers, suppliers and media agencies – during a two-day workshop in Berlin last year. The experts were tasked with answering the question “What will media usage look like in 2017?”. Based on key factors deemed to of high impact yet uncertain (identified through previous research done within the Where NEWS? project), they produced eight different possible scenarios of media consumers, behaviour and markets in ten years’ time. The report also contains a methodology section, which publishers can refer to in order to run their own scenario development workshops. Says Dieckow: “We consider scenario development to be the right approach in preparing for the future, especially in dynamic markets with disruptive developments. Media businesses operate in increasingly segmented markets and will need to simulate the different facets of media consumption and of the media consumers in various scenarios. We hope our new report will provide publishers with the inspiration and know-how to set up their own scenario development projects and develop relevant strategies for the future.” For more information, see or contact Dieckowat Directly linked to the initiative is an executive forum being held in Rome from October 9-10, where results from the research will be discussed.
Sections: Print business


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