Is print media dying? It's certainly headed in that direction – this according to the
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s Digital News Report 2016. I was particularly struck by a handful of items while reviewing the document, including the following:
- Readership of printed newspapers has declined significantly
- Half of those surveyed use social media to obtain news and around
one in ten (12 percent) say it is their main source
- People overwhelmingly turn to Facebook to find, read/watch, and share news
I used to subscribe to Time and Entertainment Weekly (EW) and did so for some time. My interests include politics, history, and popular culture, and the publications, in combination, offer an overview of news and entertainment. I was genuinely excited when the periodicals arrived in the mail, as it was a nice change from the usual bills and store circulars.
Typically, I do most of my leisure reading at the end of the day in bed and magazines are well suited for that because they are light and compact. For years, I’d read the two magazines before turning off my bedside lamp and visiting dreamland. There was a point where I couldn’t imagine not being a subscriber.
Well, that changed when I bought my first smart phone two years ago. (I’m sure a lot of people have said that.)
Now, I use Facebook as my main news aggregator when I'm on my phone. I “like” the pages of various publications and the articles and videos the outlets post appear in my news feed. Rather than turn to magazines before sleep, I now scroll through the Facebook application and read stories and watch short films. Like a magazine, my phone is light and portable. Unlikely a magazine, however, my phone has the Internet and applications and that gives me access to an infinite amount of content. Score "one" for magazines; score "two" for phones.
Currently, I have only one paid print media subscription and that's to the
Detroit Jewish News. I want to know what's happening in the Jewish community in
Southeast Michigan, but my interest goes beyond that. I freelance for the paper and serve on its advisory board, so I want to help ensure the publication survives. Admittedly, I don't have the same vested interest in Time and EW – I'd still subscribe if I did.
Again, I ask: is print media dying? I hope not, but I know I'm contributing to its diminishment. While I love my laptop and smartphone and all that the Internet and social media has to offer, I do still enjoy leafing through the pages of a newspapers and magazines – just not in bed, it seems.
I'm Eli Natinsky and I'm a communication specialist. This blog explores my work and professional interests. I also delve into other topics, including media, marketing, pop culture, and technology.