by Atul Hatwal
This election will be the swansong of an institution which has dominated the media landscape for well over a century: the daily newspaper.
By 2020, if the trends established over the past five years continue, four out of 11 daily newspapers will likely have ceased print production.
Old certainties will crumble: the Sun will set – it will no longer have the biggest daily print circulation – and the Telegraph’s commanding lead as the most popular of the old broadsheets will almost entirely evaporate.
The papers likely to cease publication by 2020 are the Independent, the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Daily Star.
The Independent will probably be the first to end its print run. If the trend in print sales over the past five years continues, then it will literally run out of readers at the start of 2017.
This does not of course mean the Independent will cease to exist. It can continue online but unless the Lebedev family, or a new owner, is prepared to fund the print run of a paper that absolutely no-one buys, there will be no Independent newspaper in a couple of years.
Compared to the Independent, the Guardian seems relatively healthy. With 185,000 daily sales it still has a significant audience. However, by 2020 a combination of the high operating costs of print and declining sales will tip the balance towards the end of the physical newspaper.