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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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.

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