Scenario Planning: Newspaper Industry Case Study
A case study of a scenario-type planning was one conducted by the World Association of Newspapers which wanted to help the newspaper industry to understand how growing competition from new technologies and changing reading habits could create a new landscape for a product that has existed for centuries. the World Association of Newspapers (Wade, 2012). The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is the global organization of the world’s newspapers, which mission is to promote freedom of the press and quality journalism (Wade, 2012). The organization conducted a scenario-type planning to determine why the future of the newspaper industry will be in 2020.
The study started with the history of the newspaper industry. The author mentioned that the newspapers began in Roman times as a way for government officials to communicate and making announcements to the masses (Wade, 2012). The newspaper industry has survived for a very log time and as today newspapers published all over the world, reaching an audience of 400 million every day (Wade, 2012). But the newspaper industry is now facing a critical period of transition. The traditional newspapers are declining because of that, profitability at many publishing companies is under severe pressure and struggling to survive.
A lot of the media houses which publish newspapers closed down. Newspaper publishers have struggled to live with the advent of radio and television. They faced computers like round-the-clock news channels on cable TV at the beginning of the 1990s which began to chip away at newspapers’ circulation (Wade, 2012). The emergence of the Internet resulted in the free online news also led to lower newspaper circulation, lower advertising rate, and low profit.
Identified Driving Forces
The World Association of Newspapers decided to take an informed, scenario planning approach to understanding how the future landscape of the newspaper industry might look in 2020.The study identified four driving forces that could shape the future landscape of the newspaper industry in 2020 as disruptive media dominate, targeted audiences, traditional media dominate, and mass audience. The scenario planning workshop about took place in January 2008 which present four scenarios for 2020. These drives were paired into scenario planning as follows.
Scenario 1: Disruptive Media Dominate and Targeted Audiences.
The scenario illuminated the effect of Internet on the newspaper industry in 2020. It forecasted that because the website is globally accessible medium, there is a fierce competition between newspaper industries because readers can be in be any part of the world. Another reason for this scenario is that new generation of readers grew up with the internet and these readers would shape the media landscape from 2010 to 2020.
Scenario 2: Traditional Media Dominate and Targeted Audiences.
This scenario reflects the fact that newspapers are still around in 2020 and thriving. There will be news media convergence. Therefore newspapers are still enjoying their long tradition of quality and trustworthiness, coexisting comfortably with TV, radio, and the Internet.
Scenario 3: Traditional Media Dominate and Mass Audience.
The third scenario is based on the idea that over the decade leading to 2020, consumers felt they were being flooded with online information which is unrealistic and, untrustworthy. So the audience will return to the newspapers because the newspaper it will be considered as reliable news and information.
Scenario 3: Disruptive Media Dominate and Mass Audience.
This scenario predicts that the Internet will win. People go online for everything media-related including news, entertainment, sports, analysis, opinion, TV, movies, music, radio, games. This convergence is so dramatic that the key players, offering all these services on an integrated platform, are also the providers of choice of social media.
Change that came before 2020
Apple launched the iPad in 2010, just 27 months after the workshop had imagined that mobile device like iPad could become an important factor in the future of the news media business. This device will allow the news audience to read news in whatever format they want. The news content can be made available in different content such the form of apps and e-books. This will help the news publishers to enhance the reader experience. Another thing that the workshop apparently didn’t foresee was the rise of social media and its impact on news media.
How to use scenario planning for future innovation efforts?
The aim of scenario planning is to illuminate and explore different ways the future might realistically develop. It facilitates your ability to create a realistic vision for the future, as well as your ability to craft the strategies that will make you successful once you get there.
Does the scenario plan account for the social impact of change?
Scenario plan accounts for the social impact of change because the idea of scenario planning is using a mixture of trends to develop a particular kind of future more likely. Scenarios are therefore stories that reveal how a certain future may change due to some environmental factors.
Wade, W. (2012). Scenario planning: a field guide to the future. John Wiley & Sons.