Five leading magazine publishers launched a new campaign this week touting “the power of print.” At a time when most discussion remains focused on the hit-and-miss efforts of print media to adjust itself to the digital age, it feels refreshing to see publishers embrace the innate qualities of their medium.
Yes, the print industry needs to make adjustments to remain viable, however radio didn’t kill newspapers, TV didn’t kill radio, and to date, the Internet has a clean record.
The publishers’ ads reference data from Mediamark Research & Intelligence that show magazine readership has risen 4.3% over the past five years. And I trust this data because I’m living proof.
I’m pretty darn comfortable with technology. I’m of a generation that would rather send a text than make a phone call, and it’s eerie how much I learn via Facebook.
But I LOVE my magazines! I don’t have a stack of books beside my bed; I have old issues of The New Yorker interspersed with ReadyMade and DIY (and a 2008 GQ with my boy Michael Phelps on the cover).
Print has a tangible, tactile and lasting quality that digital media simply does not. And that’s OK, for both mediums.
I like to think this campaign, and other similar efforts from the Newspaper Association of America and a trade group of the local-TV industry, are signaling a shift away from decrying the slow demise of traditional media, and moving forward to embrace their place within a broader media landscape.
We all recognize the greater competition for our attention, but while various media types settle into altered roles, we, as consumers, continue to enjoy the unique benefits of each.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe new media is the death knell of the ‘old?’ Or do you envision a world in which numerous media types will thrive?