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ICA Debate: Paywalls, E-books and the Death of Print

21 Oct 2010

Are publishing and print media obsolete in the age of the Internet and the iPad? And if not, how should newspapers, books and magazines reinvent themselves to stay alive?

For newspapers, the future currently looks bleak. The Times has disappeared behind a paywall. The Guardian Media Group is losing around £30million pounds a year. And leading US papers including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times have fallen into bankruptcy in recent years.

The story is no better in books, with publishers margins squeezed by high street chains and new threats on the horizon from Amazon’s burgeoning role as an internet publisher and Google’s audacious bid to digitize all known existing books by the end of the decade.

What is the way forward for authors, journalists, publishers and proprietors? Are the 65 percent of Americans who believe that newspapers will no longer exist in ten years time right? Or do the new opportunities of the digital age also signal a chance to reimagine the role – and the business model – of the written word in our society?

Join leading publisher and author of Words & Money Andre Schiffrin, Media Guardian columnist Roy Greenslade, David Roth-Ey Harper Collins’ Digital Director and Kit Hammonds, co-founder of the Publish and Be Damned self-publishing fair in the debate.

Paywalls, E-books and the Death of Print

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