Jan 27, 2011

Print Media: Still Kicking

North American print publications could take a cue from Novelist Mark Twain, who famously announced the “report of my death was an exaggeration.” Last year, 193 new magazines launched, from Northeast Flavor to Livestrong Quarterly. Those offset 176 closures, including the venerable Gourmet.

And the decline hit the brakes, according to MediaFinder.com. In 2009, seventy percent more magazines shut (596). And fewer outlets abandoned print to appear solely online: 28 made the shift in 2010, down 65% from 81 titles the year before.

I see these signs as promising, despite the current controversies over content mills. On the web, quality is king. Even when media converges there – especially when it converges there, creating a huge torrent of trash – authoritative, engaging outlets should continue to thrive. Take the site Five Thirty Eight, who in 2008 outstripped the 3.4m circulation of the Houston Chronicle with just three staffers: a self-professed "Chicago-based baseball stathead, a Commerce/Bike-based poker player and a SF-based documentary filmmaker". Now it has seven contributors and posts political coverage to The New York Times...

Media. It's not dead yet.

Dead Collector from Monty Python's "Holy Grail".


Delve into the brave new-media world with my six-week Writers.com intro e-workshop ($240). Next offered February 10th and May 19th.

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