The Death of Print is Greatly Exaggerated
Newsweek magazine, a global magazine brand in print for eight decades, announced Thursday, October 18th that its last print issue will be December 31, 2012. It is reducing its staff in anticipation of being solely digital as of 2013. Does this worry any stalwart print media folks? It shouldn’t. The Big D these days isn’t just Dallas. It’s Digital. We’re all migrating online. Of course this is also a costs saving move by a print publication that has lost its edge, but editor-in-chief Tina Brown manages to put the positive spin on this development when she made the announcement at strictly online The Daily Beast.
Currently, 39 percent of Americans say they get their news from an online source, according to a Pew Research Center study released last month. In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead.
It is important that we underscore what this digital transition means and, as importantly, what it does not. We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism—that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.
Writer Andrew Sullivan, whose blog is linked to Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast, won’t miss the print medium.
Here is the first cover of Newsweek from February 1933. Note the emphasis on global events as well as the cost per issue.
Will you miss the print version of Newsweek or is this just media business as usual in the 21st century?