It’s ironic that I’m starting a blog about media and PR the day after Media Week announces that its print edition is closing to go online-only.
I love print. Reading an article on a laptop screen or phone is just not the same as having a printed newspaper or magazine in your hand. You can’t beat reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee, but to be completely up-to-date on what’s happening in the world, it’s all about TV, radio and online.
With millions of people still reading newspapers, it’s not the end of the (print) world, but cuts and closures are becoming the norm.
Here are some examples from recent weeks:
- London Lite closes soon after rival freesheet the(brilliant)londonpaper was taken off London’s streets
- Guardian News & Media announced over 100 editorial and commerical job cuts
- Three of the Observer’s monthly magazines – Observer Sport Monthly, Observer Music Monthly and Observer Woman – are closing
It’s not all doom and gloom though. The Sun is marking its 40th anniversary this week. Stylist, the sister title to ShortList, is now into its second month while Deen, a print lifestyle magazine, launched a few weeks ago. (Interview with Mayah Riaz, editor of Deen magazine, coming soon)
Although it’s struggling, print is not quite dead yet.
“The medium is the message” (Marshall McLuhan, 1964)
The layout of a good double page spread really can’t be matched by a website. Of course you can have any combination of words, photos, tables, etc online, but it’s much more visually appealing – and laid out more logically – on a physical page.
Out of all media, print is obviousy the most tactile. When absolutely everything is online and you spend most of the day in front of a screen, it actually feels good to have a paper in your hand. Take it with you anywhere, roll it up, smell it, stick it in a pile, rip a page out, swat a fly with it. You just can’t get that online.
Here’s a tweet that sums it up:
*a neologism to describe how print media are increasingly moving towards online models. The recession is obviously having an impact too, but ‘princession’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.