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10 Reasons Print’s Not Dead

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A couple of print publications struggle within their field and suddenly the blogosphere is singing the dirge for newspapers. But I think it’s too soon to for the tree population to start celebrating the death of an institution.

After InfoWorld stopped its presses and the San Francisco Chronicle leaked rumors of layoffs, bloggers declared the print medium dead. But that doesn’t seem realistic to me.

Ten Reasons Print Is Alive And Well

1.    People still like the newspaper experience. There are enough fogies out there that like getting the paper on their doorstep and take it to their favorite chair in the morning. This is nearly a Zen experience for them – slow, quiet, relaxing perusal of the day’s news. Check out Pew’s survey on media preferences.

2.    Worldwide, newspaper sales are up. In the US, use of newspapers has increased from 33 to 34 percent.

3.    Newspapers have one advantage: no electricity or machinery required. This weekend, my DSL modem went squirrelly and I wanted to know what time the movie 300 started. I sent my stepson out to get the newspaper. Fumbling through the sections, he was awfully glad "we don’t have to use newspapers any more to find out movie times." Obviously, sometimes we do.

4.    In smaller communities, people are very loyal to the local paper. There’s pride in it, and there’s likely to be news about somebody they know, or some issue they care deeply about. Online news is often too detached from this local, intimate information.

5.    I have yet to see an e-book reader or computer screen, match the ease and portability of a paper or book, or that great smell of print. There is something about the feel of a book in your hands. And books look great on shelves. It’s a similar feeling with newspapers.

6.    What are you going to wrap your dishes in when you move?

7.    There are coupons in the newspaper – ones that require only scissors. You don’t have to use your own ink to print them, or your electricity to see them, or run a search to find them, or set up an RSS feed to have them delivered, or sign up for email notices. The coupons and local store ads are in your paper box.

8.    The people that love and are loyal to print ain’t dying any time soon. Wait 30 or 40 years and reassess the situation.

9.    Newspapers are convenient for entirely different reasons than online news sources. When they develop a computer screen that a puppy can pee on, then print is surely dead.

10.     Instead of one or the other, print or digital, it’s most likely that established print publications will find themselves in both markets, serving up what the public wants: a hybrid of print and digital offerings.  

 

 

10 Reasons Print’s Not Dead
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