The End of Print is Now

With the ever-intensifying drumbeat of stories (here and here) foreshadowing the end of print publications, the question of print’s demise becomes not if but when.

While many (older) people still stain their fingers with newsprint or visit the local library to peruse periodicals, the print publications life force is fading as fast as Charlie Sheen can destroy a hotel room. If you follow the money, it reveals┬áthat spending on digital advertising may overtake spending on print ads in the near future if it hasn’t already happened.

As a former employee of an alt-weekly newspaper, I saw firsthand the reduction in advertising and page count (and employees). After the classified ads jumped to Craigslist and the real estate market and its advertising crumbled, the display ads dwindled leaving slim space for editorial content. The fact that less advertising leads to less editorial space means fewer journalists will be around to write compelling stories in print.

One of the striking pleas for print magazines is this ad found in many of the magazines losing readership yet emphasizing the virtues of magazines. The message of “stick with us, a bunch of people still are” rings hollow and desperate if you have to say it.

Is there a place for print in your future?

Do you still eagerly anticipate the next magazine or are you reading the latest stories online with ink-free fingers?