Are Print Magazines Dying?

Sunday, April 08, 2007
In a recent interview with Ann Moore, CEO Time, Inc. she had told us about her push for digital content. "We've actually been focusing on our digital strategy for some time, investing in our online assets since 2000," Ann said. She wasn't kidding!

April 20th will be LIFE magazine's last print issue, but readers will still be able to read LIFE online. Time started publishing the magazine in 1936, but this isn't the first time it was shut down. It closed its doors in 1972, but came back in 1978, before shutting down again in 2000.

When WOW! talked to Ann Moore, she gave freelance writers hope by letting us know online clips carry more weight than previously, and in fact, are now the same. "The print and online worlds are definitely no longer separated for journalists. Time Inc.'s biggest names in print are now writing for the web as well, and recognize it's a great way to have more articles published and seen by a growing audience." (Now I know exactly what she was talking about!)

Is this the fate of the magazine industry?

Meredith Corporation's Child magazine has also shut its doors, opting for online only. The same goes for IDG's InfoWorld, and Hachette Filipacchi Media's PREMIERE magazine.

Of course there are benefits to going online only: No more costly print, circulation, and operating expenses. But can they do as well with online advertising? It seems to me that if more magazines go strictly online it will raise the cost of online advertising. The market will need reevaluation.

What does this mean for freelance writers?

Good news for the future. With magazines moving to online and advertising rates rising, in turn, writers should be better paid and have more opportunities. Reasonably, it should create more openings, since online content needs to stay fresh and be constantly updated in real time. It may not be as glamorous for die-hard print fans out there, but online clips will be easier to buzz.

Still, there's nothing like holding a print magazine in your hand and seeing those beautiful glossy photos...

What do you think? Post a comment!


Damaria Senne said...

I write for both print and online but the online medium has provided me with better visibility as a journalist. My online articles reach more people and transcend borders.I have received reader feedback, requests to submit articles to publication and even story pitches from PR companies locally and internationally, and it no longer suprises me when I receive an email from the UK, US or even Australia from someone who says they read my article and agree/disgree with the content of my articles. I also think online articles have a longer "shelf life" because of the online archives, whereas I've found sometimes I'm the lone custodian of my print clips.
I realise is still a bias against online journalists. But, slowly but surely, good journalists and publications will erode that.

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