Print Is Dead, Except It Isn’t

Posted on November 15, 2010. Filed under: Public Relations | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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Rob Cox, a columnist at Reuters.com, notes that “old media” still play an outsized role in the court of public opinion, mainly because of the age of those in charge.

Speaking primarily of print media, Cox says it’s the print media dinosaurs such as Newsweek and Forbes that still get read — and even more importantly, taken seriously — by the pre-digital generations. Since they tend to be the ones in power today, and consequently have the most money, their fealty to the print cause is of major interest to advertisers. Even so grievously wounded a dinosaur as Newsweek is still a force to be reckoned with simply because of this demographic reality, he says.

But as the younger generations, with their pronounced digital biases, move to the forefront of society, true print journalism will disappear. In that scenario, newspapers and magazines have perhaps 10 more years of life left in them. Then not only will trees and the people who love them breathe easier, but the digital takeover of journalism and mass media will be complete.

It’s a most likely scenario, and one I agree with.

Print, The Next Generation: A Custom Job

However, I don’t think it means the end of print media as we know it but rather a morphing into a new era of special interest print publications in which the medium is used to call special attention to issues and other matters of importance to people. Because if there is one thing the digital world is not, it’s unified. And in the end, those with the most money will have the ability to deliver the most message for the buck, meaning they’ll be able to claim digital attention in this new hyper-fragmented world ahead.

<p.Print with its ability to focus attention — if something’s in your face or hand, it’s hard to ignore — will continue to play a role albeit in a more custom-created way.

Here’s a link to Cox’s Reuters column: Print is dead: long live old media.

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