The world has changed and so must we
Monday, February 22, 2016
The imminent demise of The Independent in printed form, unsurprisingly, triggered a rush of commentators to once again predict the end of printed publications.
But they’re wrong.
Yes, the model is changing, whether it be for newspapers, magazines or books. And yes, there will no doubt be more casualties among those that either fail to adapt or are, in some senses at least, the instruments of their own demise. Whether that be by launching a lower-cost version of their own title, pricing themselves out of the market, giving it away online for free or, worse, all three.
However, before I get on my high horse, I must make a confession: I don’t read a printed paper, not even a free one, on a daily basis. I know; my bad.
I do subscribe to a news magazine (The Week, if you’re interested, but others are available), and I am occasionally afforded the luxury (of time) to read weekend papers, but not always before the kids destroy them.
I get my daily news online. There, I’ve said it.
However, lots of people do read printed newspapers, not because they have to, but because they prefer to – and more power to them. And I don’t think it’s a generational thing either, on my daily commute I see people of all ages reading newspapers or magazines, but the same is true of tablets and smartphones – although with the latter two they could just as easily be watching a film or playing Candy Crush Saga.
How you prefer to consume information is just personal preference, whether it’s lean forward to read certain things at certain times from a screen or lean back to read others from the page. And I can’t see that changing anytime soon.
A publisher just needs to simply provide the content in the way the reader wants and, just as importantly, in a way that pays the bills.