Linked by David Adams on Mon 19th Jan 2009 22:06 UTC
Editorial There's been a lot of talk lately about the imminent demise of the print media. With the economy in the toilet, subscriber bases shrinking, advertising rates declining, and demographic shift moving many publications' readers ever-older with no younger readers to replace them, it's looking grim. Some cities will be losing their only daily newspaper. Even the New York Times is in danger of going bankrupt. Even with advertising rates putting pressure on net-based publications, online publishing is here to stay. Is there room in this world for printed tech publications?
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A big reason is
by Vinegar Joe on Mon 19th Jan 2009 22:18 UTC
Vinegar Joe
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Most papers are now owned by a handful of people/companies and they all have about the same political slant.

Reply Score: 3

RE: A big reason is
by David on Mon 19th Jan 2009 22:25 UTC in reply to "A big reason is"
David Member since:

Something similar happened in the tech media. It didn't have anything to do with political slant, but during the eighties and nineties, there was a lot of consolidation of tech magazines into a few big media conglomerates. I think it's possible that this consolidation made the various tech magazines too-similar and also hindered them in being able to change quickly enough to stay relevant.

Reply Score: 4

I suppose magazines are still useful ...
by WorknMan on Mon 19th Jan 2009 22:25 UTC
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Afterall, people still need something to read while on the crapper ;)

Reply Score: 5

madgabz Member since:

"Afterall, people still need something to read while on the crapper ;) "
Why do You think, netbooks are so damned popular? ;)

Edited 2009-01-19 23:05 UTC

Reply Score: 8

WorknMan Member since:

Why do You think, netbooks are so damned popular? ;)

Just remind me never to borrow your netbook, ok ? ;)

Reply Score: 11

capricorn_tm Member since:

... Or to borrow you mine ;)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Mon 19th Jan 2009 22:45 UTC
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Anything ephemeral or non-essential is at risk in times like these because it is the easiest to cut back on. Imho, traditional newspapers and tech publications will eventually have to go far, far upmarket to survive. The net does basic news, reviews and instant opinionating (blogs, e.g.) far better than print, so in order to get anyone to actually buy your printed publication you are going to have to offer sophisticated, thoughtful opinions by seriously well qualified people and essays so detailed they could almost be papers.

Everything else - the moron stuff involving paparazzi, cheapo sports reporting and showbiz - will morph into freesheets and crappy websites. Since those upmarket publications will have relatively small markets, the whole traditional print/news industry will vanish too, I suppose.

I don't see books going West, though. I think people have a hunger for story-telling and connectedness that is almost a primal instinct, and so essential. No one has yet invented anything that does it better, though the medium may well change in the next couple of decades with much better (and affordable) electronic books and print-on-demand for those who still want paper.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by moleskine
by qroon on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by moleskine"
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In my case, I still prefer trade paper backs over e-books. Even comics, I prefer flipping thru pages. Nothing beats a Sunday morning on the porch with a book, coffee and cigars, he he he.

Reply Score: 4

For Your Consideration
by Michael on Mon 19th Jan 2009 23:43 UTC
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What I'll miss about the old publications is their isolation. A single journalist would write a long article on his own and it would be published in solitary glory. The thinking of one man presented for your consideration. Maybe in a month, there'll be one or two letters on the subject of sufficient quality to print. Or maybe not.

These days every article is linked to half a dozen other articles about the same thing. And at the end you get endless, witless comments from dumb bastards like me, who pick the article apart or just shout their own tangential passions.

And then there's advertising. At least with magazines, adverts don't appear magically from the very words of the article. At least they weren't animated.

Navigation of a magazine was good too. You didn't need to surround every article with information about what else the magazine had to offer, because the reader had the very pages in his hands. You knew there was other stuff in there and you knew how to find it.

Oh, and magazines had better graphics.

Yes, there's a lot to be said for the old media when you think about it.

Reply Score: 6

RE: For Your Consideration
by ZBrando on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 20:39 UTC in reply to "For Your Consideration"
ZBrando Member since:

I completely agree with you.
Paper magazines are more comfortable to read and have better layout.
Maybe a paid subscription on some websites would resolve the problem of the crowded advertising.

Reply Score: 1

by Angel Blue01 on Mon 19th Jan 2009 23:56 UTC
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I was so sad when Windows Magazine stopped publishing, they don't even have Internet archives :-(

I don't want print media to die, they have high standards of writing, mostly, better than any regular blogger.

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Quality is always worth paying for
by dagw on Tue 20th Jan 2009 17:50 UTC
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Magazines and newspapers is still where the quality is. I read a fair number of blogs and other online news sources and I've yet to see anything which comes even close to matching the quality of the better articles in for example the Economist or the Financial Times. The quality of the writing and the level of journalism is atrocious on far too many blogs.

That is not to say all print is better than all online sources, far from it. There are far too many magazines and newspapers out there that are shit. They will and should go bankrupt. I hope there is a special place in hell for people who publish magazines who's articles consist of little more then press releases and advertising copy from their advertisers.

Still I actually find myself buying and reading more magazines and newspapers today than I did 3-4 years ago. The meteoric rise of blogs and similar sites has demonstrated very clearly how hard truly great journalistic writing is and how few are really good at it. I for one am more than happy to pay the few people who still know how to write really well.

Reply Score: 2

by Novan_Leon on Tue 20th Jan 2009 20:05 UTC
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I say good riddance. Modern print media isn't succeeding precisely because it isn't providing what people want. Let it die a natural death and let something else fill the void, that's how society evolves.

Pretty much all print media projects a liberal point of view anyhow. People can't relate, therefore they don't buy. Provide something fresh and more ideologically balanced and you might have a chance.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Newspapers
by Johann Chua on Fri 23rd Jan 2009 09:55 UTC in reply to "Newspapers"
Johann Chua Member since:

"Liberal media", right. Because there aren't loads of business-oriented publications.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Newspapers
by Angel Blue01 on Sat 24th Jan 2009 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Newspapers"
Angel Blue01 Member since:

And, as it happens, almost all the newspapers and TV networks in the US are owned by convervative companies.

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Being an independant publication pays
by factotum218 on Thu 22nd Jan 2009 21:05 UTC
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Hmmm, thats odd. I work as a desktop publisher for a local newspaper in west michigan and we've seen a steady increase in sales and circulation in the last 11 months. How strange.
Must have something to do with having competent writers and editors who actually make the local community's input a priority in the publication. That and not being owned by a larger company that just wants to slap AP drivel on a page and call it news.

Reply Score: 1