Le Web 3: newspapers here to stay, says Skype founder

The newspaper is not dead, according to Skype founder Niklas Zennström.

Swedish entrepreneur Mr Zennström is revered for producing disruptive effects in traditional media industries after having revolutionised both the music world with his KaZaa file-sharing network and having turned the telecom sector on its head with Skype.

But he told the Le Web 3 conference here in Paris that journalism was here to stay.

“Blogs are fantastic – you have so much diversity,” he told delegates. “But there’s always going to be a need for in-depth journalism.

“I don’t read as much paper as I used to and I think they will obviously be challenged. The thing that is a challenge is the daily press – you have free newspapers and quality newspapers and they each have to find their own markets, but I don’t think they’re dead.”

After selling Skype to eBay in October 2005, Mr Zennström is now working on a peer-to-peer television network he said was in “stealth” mode.

“We wanted to take the best of TV and the internet and mix them together,” he said. “People obviously spend a lot of time in front of TV but it hasn’t really changed much in the 50 years it’s been around.”

Previous reports suggest Mr Zennström and partner Janus Frii’s work, codenamed “The Venice Project”, will be a distribution network for existing television content. The pair have reportedly spoken with a wide range of television networks.