The Viability of the Print Newspaper in the Digital Era in Zimbabwe: A Digital Strategy Perspective (Published)
An exploratory study aiming at assessing the migration trends from printed newspapers to online sources of news was undertaken. The goal was to assess factors influencing this migration and the impact of this migration on advertising revenue. Four hundred (400) respondents were selected randomly and a questionnaire was administered to them. In depth interviews were held with four key advertising agencies because these agencies channel the bulk of advertising revenue to newspapers. Findings indicate that the migration to online sources of news is inevitable although the availability of online newspapers has not put printed newspapers out of business. The main drivers include: (1) age, (2) gender, (3) level of education measured in terms of computer literacy, (4) cost, (5) Real-time reporting and interactivity, (6) Broadband availability and cost, (7) Adoption of Online payment methods, (8) levels of smart mobile telephones use. This study noted that there is no significant change in advertising revenues of printed newspapers although a significant part of the readership has migrated from printed newspapers to online news. Most printed newspapers have adopted survival strategies such as pursuing a dedicated on-line publishing strategy, newspaper organisational restructuring, and diversification from print to other media platforms. Future research can look at the future of other forms of publications such as magazines, textbooks, educational, entertainment, business and religious materials.