According to a Press Gazette poll, 48% of respondents said they were reading more digitally now than in print and didn’t see this changing. The transition from print to digital journalism has been long foreshadowed and anticipated but why hasn’t the elimination of print journalism already happened? This reporter decided to look into the transition’s origin and possible trajectory by speaking to Guardian Senior International Affairs Correspondent, Emma Graham-Harrison to explore her opinions and experience.


Emma has witnessed the change in media consumption at the Guardian newspaper which she joined in 2012, where “it was already operating under the motto "Digital First", AND the majority of our readers NOW find our news ONLINE. I think the Guardian was early in seeing the potential of the internet, adapting to it and taking advantage of it.”


However, where did digital news and media come from? Roger Fidler. In the 1980s he wrote and illustrated an essay on the future of news, his main idea being a tablet on which electronic newspapers can be read. This idea was later transformed (around 2010) into the iPad by Steve Jobs. Fidler’s concept consisted of articles being instantly published from one computer to millions more, without any need for other machinery or expensive employees. This scarily accurate essay accurately projected the future of journalism – the man that was laughed at by his colleagues became the forefather of digital journalism, an integral part of our society.


In terms of format and writing style, I asked whether it varied depending on how readers view it, to which she said “despite the internet seemingly allowing unlimited length, we try very hard to keep online stories as concise as possible because we don't want to lose reader attention”. A major key for all publications to grasp readers online.


Content inevitably varies; Emma weighed in: “Digital of course can present other formats that you can't have in print, so our online site has video, podcasts, and also immersive/interactive reports, with lots of visuals and graphics. Stills from these can go into a print version, but it isn't the same.” Also, “Print can be particularly good at showcasing good photography.”


Finally, I asked Emma a hefty question, that I think most journalists and the public have been trying to prophesise since the early 2000s: Do you think that print will ever be totally eradicated? “There are print products that are still very popular and hard to replace with a digital experience, for example - the weekend editions with supplements, which people enjoy leafing over at brunch. Certainly, there are people who feel some forms of print papers or magazines have a future”


The consensus is very much divided. It will, no doubt, be interesting to see how the two forms of media interplay in the future, as the interview with Emma Graham-Harrison has shown that there is no binary choice or outcome. Perhaps it will depend on the next generations of newspaper readers to revive or eliminate the now ‘old fashioned’ print newspaper, or will there be new forms of consumption in the future? Whatever happens, it will be fascinating to see if, when and how the day comes where we can finally say “print is dead”.