Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In the Changing Media Landscape, Will Magazines Become Extinct?

Following last week's Politics 2008 event, PRSA posted a great summary of the Keynote Roundtable discussion, entitled, "The Changing Face of News: The Power, The Influence and the Challenge of the Future."

In recent conversations, many have cited increasing online readership and decreasing revenue as evidence of the fall of print... but what about the magazine industry? (In fact, the above noted PRSA article mentions an interesting point: During the panel, Time magazine's Richard Stengel has become "a digital publication that puts out a weekly print publication" in efforts to adapt to new media.)

As more readers turn to the Web to get their daily dose of news, one might expect that magazines would be forced to adapt too. However, Graydon Carter, editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair noted that magazines and the new digital news are nearly completely separate industries. He said, "The one thing a monthly magazine can do is be slower and tell a story because there is so much information and everything's so fast, that if you compete with the notions of speed or immediacy or just information, you lose to the Internet." Interesting, but a great way of viewing the situation.

Looking at my own media consumption, I realized that I, too, use new and traditional media for different purposes - I like receiving up-to-date news via my RSS, and I like the opinionated slant some bloggers take, but nothing will ever take the place of a good "old-fashioned" eight page spread in Newsweek. Fear not, my friends - magazines are here to stay.

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