After nearly 280 years in print, the world's oldest continuously published newspaper is stopping the presses in favor of a digital presence.
Lloyd's List, which was founded in 1734 as a notice posted to a London coffee shop's wall, announced Wednesday it will cease its print edition in December. The newspaper is widely regarded as the leading source of news and analysis for the global shipping market.
The newspaper's management cited declining interest in the print edition as the impetus behind the move. A recent survey of Lloyd's List readers found that less than 2 percent relied solely on the print edition for access to the newspaper's content.
"The overwhelming majority of our customers choose the capabilities of digital over print," editor Richard Meade said in a statement noting the advantages of a digital-only model. "The digital approach offers new avenues and opportunities to innovate an up-to-the-minute service that offers in-depth news and information on every aspect of shipping as well as unrivaled market intelligence and data provision which can be tailored to suit our readers' needs."
The decision comes at a difficult time for newspapers, which have been scrambling for profits amid sagging print advertising revenue and declining circulations for the past decade. While some daily newspapers have resorted to paywalls and print-exclusive content to prop up profits and print interest, others have opted to forgo their print editions for a Web-only presence.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer stopped publishing a print edition in March 2009, followed the next month by the Christian Science Monitor. Magazines such as Newsweek and US News & World Report have followed suit, choosing to publish only on the Internet.