After 279 Years in Print, World’s Oldest Newspaper To Go Digital-Only

By Barbara Hollingsworth | October 4, 2013 | 12:34 PM EDT

1740 edition of shipping bible Lloyd's List (Lloyd's List)

( – Lloyd’s List, a London-based newspaper for the international shipping industry that has been in continuous publication since 1734, recently announced that it will go completely digital on December 20th.

A customer survey in June showed that only 2 percent of the newspaper’s readers were relying exclusively on the 279-year-old print edition. More than 97 percent said they preferred to get their business information online.

The paper was founded by Edward Lloyd, who had been posting ship arrival and departure times on the wall of his 18th century London coffee shop.

“Lloyd’s List first started in 1734 as a notice pinned to the wall of a coffee shop in London offering customers trusted shipping news and information,” editor Richard Meade said in a statement.

“That aim has not changed, but the technology has and our customers are now accessing the industry’s most sophisticated intelligence source in any coffee shop, anywhere in the world 24 hours a day,” he said.

Lloyd’s List’s print edition is only the latest casualty of the digital age.

Newspaper Death Watch” maintains a list of metropolitan dailies in the U.S. that have closed since 2007. Many more have switched to a hybrid print/online model.

Hundreds of the nation’s remaining 1,382 daily newspapers, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, have also erected “pay walls” in an attempt to recover lost profits from dwindling print advertising.