There have been many times where a new technological development have brought about predictions of the demise of an older technology. It was widely proclaimed that television would kill radio and the movies. Some also said that the emergence of online stores and commerce would kill traditional physical retailing. Along the same line of thought, many predicted the end of physically printed magazines and newspapers with the advent of digital publishing of these media. None of these predictions have as of yet come true, but the growing presence and benefits of digital magazines and newspapers is a fact.
Readers of newspapers and news oriented magazines have always wanted to know what’s going on in a current and accurate fashion. Of course they like to be entertained as well. Print media has done a good job with this, but it can’t compare to digitally published media that is distributed via the internet. With the prevalence of the internet, readers want to know what’s going on NOW, not yesterday or even many hours ago. Very importantly, many readers today don’t want to hear just from reporters or editors, but from other readers as well. This doesn’t mean just a reader opinion piece, but where the readers themselves become the source and contributors of the news.
Along this line of thought, readers today also want news and information media to be very reader relevant and interactive. They want to be able to “search” the publication for relevant information, not just rely on static tables of contents, indexes or summaries. Most of these reader demanded attributes require the media to be truly interactive on a real time basis. This can only be accomplished via digital publishing.
As for the entertainment factor, digital newspapers and magazines are far superior to the printed versions. On line media provides the ability to publish multimedia content, including audio, video, and interactive graphics and photos. Many readers get great entertainment value from the ability to actually publish their own news pieces and article “talk backs” (on line reader opinion pieces).
Even for magazines that are not necessarily a news publication, digital publishing provides many similar advantages and benefits. Imagine a travel magazine where the readers can actually experience destinations via video, audio and interactive content such as 3D maps. Any specialty magazine can utilize the same digital technology, such as fashion, hobby and activity magazines. Of course, the prior mentioned benefits regarding currency, reader interaction and relevancy all apply here as well.
Then there are the business and financial advantages to publishing magazines and newspapers digitally. There are no print run costs or physical distribution costs. It is definitely more “green” to digitally publish as you don’t use paper to print or fuel for delivery vehicles. There is a marketing advantage as well, as more and more readers are online more and more of the time. Your publication needs to be online to have effective visibility and accessibility. This is especially true with the rapidly growing use of hand held device that access the internet.
Therefore, while print media is not dead and may never be, for the above reasons, it is crucial that a newspaper or magazine publish digitally in order to be successful and grow.
Martin Alan enjoys writing on subjects such as literature, online publishing, the digital magazine, publishing software, sharing sites and self publishing. He also enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest developments and innovations in technology and online marketing.