THE new distribution networks for information should be seen as opportunities for the future of journalism rather than as a threat says News Limited chief executive officer Kim Williams during a speech on the status of the media industry in Melbourne on Wednesday.
"The challenge is to adjust, get product offerings right, get cost structures right, attract new customers and create revenue streams that can sustain great journalism," he said.
Mr Williams said with growing global demand for the words and images produced by media organisations, it would always be possible to take good journalism to new customers in a financially sustainable way.
"The really positive fact we should keep in mind whenever the urge to declinism overtakes us, is that people are now consuming more news across more devices than ever before in human history," he told members of the Melbourne Press Club at the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex.
"I'm not saying that smart phones and tablets, the inspired inventors and entrepreneurs who have promoted them have made life easy for us. Far, far from it.
"But they provide us with marvelous ways to engage with this new world and make it a winner.
"As a media CEO who proved that digitisation can be turned into a huge positive, I know there are lots of reasons to work hard and be optimistic.
"I feel confident that the idealism and ambition of the young about the future of journalism is spot on. Nothing can hold the media back," he said.
"The declinism one hears so often in our industry is bound to be overwhelmed by society's thirst for news and by the irrepressible energy of a new generation of media players who are going to take their profession in new and incredibly exciting directions in the digital age."