Print vs. Web

The old print vs. web debate [is] as tedious and pointless as it’s always been. Different mediums have different strengths. The web is just better than paper at delivering time-sensitive news. It’s idiotic to pretend otherwise. And paper is still good at things the web is not, especially in getting people to actually pay for it. The solution is to use each medium for what it’s good at.

Powazek is spot-on here. If companies are savvy enough, they can make changes in content delivery and survive. But most of what I see from the magazine industry is a desperate attempt to continue trudging through strategies that just don’t work anymore.

If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.

Fortunately, it seems like some big corporations, or at least individuals in those corporations, are starting to get the drift. Derek updates his article with this gem from Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek:

We have had it backwards. We produce a magazine all week, we close it Friday and Saturday, and it begins to go out online…. It’s probably time to flip that. You are solely focused on the digital, and by the end of the week you take the best of … then you print that magazine.

I love the internet. And I love magazines, maybe even more than the web. It doesn’t have to be either/or, but unless more magazines realize their future is in deciding what content fits best in which medium, and curating it well, I fear my love of editorial design in print will have fewer and fewer places to show off.