Having begun my professional writing career in print, with the former Dancer Magazine, it is my privilege to partake in efforts geared toward sustaining the vitality of the world’s first form of mass media.
If you follow current print media news, you will have heard Time Warner’s plan to sever ties with its own archetype institution -- Time Magazine; and the iconic Reader’s Digest magazine, founded in 1922, has sadly filed for bankruptcy.
Few are surprised by this news, but the loss of these significant American icons is tragic nonetheless.
Every year since 2008, newspapers and magazines from around the world have been disappearing by the thousands. This occurrence has become so rampant, there’s now an online death watch tracking which publication(s) will cease to exist next.
Paper Cuts – covers the latest newspaper casualties: http://newspaperlayoffs.com/
The Magazine Death Pool: http://www.magazinedeathpool.com/
The Print Apocalypse is worsening as we speak; and repercussions are expected. How these repercussions will manifest – that remains to be seen.
Though the media is often to blame for sensationalized news; there is a double standard. Generally speaking, a majority of people are thrilled when mentioned in the news. The reason -- print is tangible; it’s one of the few outlets that can be held in one’s hand and treasured like a photograph for years to come.
Those in the public eye thrive on print media exposure; and they rely on it, not only to inform, but to sway public opinion, and achieve and maintain fame and popularity. Broadcast and electronic media are invaluable sources as well and do help satisfy these purposes. But when comparing modern media to a medium that has garnered centuries of literary prestige, its credibility as a medium cannot be paralleled. As such, we can presume that a few leading print outlets will survive the digital age. Only -- subject matter will likely become limited to what sells.
With so few print media sources, general news coverage in smaller communities will undoubtedly become sparse. As for publicity opportunities -- those who have come to depend on it over the years – may find this privilege become a thing of the past.
As we digress from traditional media and overlook what print media still exists, we place all our needs into one primary source – one that depends on an enormous amount of energy to function; a daunting concept in itself.
In the event that over-saturation in cyberspace occurs, and countless online entities become lost in the digital abyss, the once forgotten Medieval invention known as the printing press will be waiting in the wings to make an encore.