The future of Magazines

PSFK writes about the future of magazines, mainly about 4 points that I agree with:

1. Not many people seem interested in reading long-form journalism (The New Yorker, NYT Magazine, etc) in front of their screens.

2. Magazines are easily portable for a plane ride, or the commute home. Also, they can be a good weekend digest of the week’s events when you are away from the computer/PDA. Though digital books and interfaces for the consumption of media are emerging, none seem poised to make a significant impact.

3. The medium allows for deeper analysis and context of daily news.

4. The sensory experience that print affords — the feel of different paper stocks, glossy photos, beautiful layout, design — simply cannot be replicated digitally.

The real value of newspapers

Over at Dave Weinbergers blog is a short excerpt from a Q&A at an Edelman/PR Week Summit.

It’s about the way the WSJ sees their own new role in he whole news biz:

Gordon Crovitz, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, described how the Journal had rethought its role as a newspaper. Rather than trying to present the first view of news, the Journal assumes its readers got the news the day before on line. Instead, 80% of the articles aim at helping readers understand the news they already have.

I agree, I think the future of printed media is in the detailed, well researched and very long analysis or report of things. At least until someone develops a screen that is as comfortable for reading long texts as if they’re printed on paper.

Dave replied, that he can get a lot of expert background information on the web, through emailing lists, etc. on the things he needs.:

I can get more focused analysis on the Web. E.g., the mailing lists I’m on about Internet regulation issues gives me far more coverage and analysis than any newspaper devotes to the topic, and the mailing lists include people with great expertise; newspapers can’t compete with that.

I think we’re mixing two different objectives here. The stuff Dave reads through his lists are probably not the things newspapers want to get into in the first place.

There is a scale of depth of information. Online will be best to cover the fast, but rather shallow bits of news, newspapers/magazines will cover more detailed background information (aimed at the interested amateur), and mailing lists, forums and (printed) literature will be perfect for expert knowledge.