(Image: Private Media)
(Image: Private Media)

There’s a lost zombie wandering the Australian media landscape hungry for brains (or, at least, for “audience”) -- the printed newspaper.

For more than two centuries it was the dominant journal of record, the setter of the news agenda, the Fourth Estate holding governments to account, embedded in Australian news-consumption habits. But then COVID turned print into a zombie. Suddenly, with the 2022 social media election, everyone’s noticed.

Australia’s news media leads the Anglosphere in the transition to digital-only distribution. Last month, news site Axios sent a shiver through US journalism when it predicted digital news advertising would outstrip print advertising in 2026. Welcome to Australia 2022. Big media’s digital news sites, such as such as news.com.au and Nine, already outpace their print siblings for advertising, largely off the back of their successful digital news products.