Death of Newsweek print edition spells bad news for journalism

Earlier this month, Newsweek announced its decision to end its print publication, allowing for a digital-only version of the magazine to survive come 2013.

This decision, as a result of losses in both circulation and advertising, is bad news for print journalism in general.
It’s obvious to anyone who picks up a paper, (insert joke here) that print journalism is dying a very slow, public and painful death.

For many Americans, it is easier to get news on their iPhones or laptops, instead of picking up a magazine that honestly cannot fully compete nowadays.

The benefits to online media are seemingly endless.

Online news sites offer information instantaneously, whereas Newsweek can offer stories only once a week.
Online news agencies can also offer a great deal more content as well, whereas print content can only offer as much information as they can financially afford to.

Newsweek’s decision to end its print publication may very well put another stake into the heart of print journalism.
With online sites such as TMZ and The Huffington Post, it is clear that online journalism is not necessarily better than print journalism.

When a person visits an online news site that does not physically provide print media, they often succumb to glaring, colorful headlines like those at The Huffington Post.

Head-scratching headlines and tantalizing titles often overwhelm online readers, compelling them to read articles that are not necessarily of any interest to them.

Print journalism however, in newspapers like The New York Times, is not always as focused on overwhelming the eyes.

I prefer to read print, rather than online material, for many reasons.

Like a great book, physical newspapers invite me in.

I find that I pay more attention to physical magazines like The New Yorker and Motor Trend over their same online counterparts.

When I read the same magazines online, I find that, like many other Americans, my attention is drawn away almost instantaneously.

Rather than focus on the substance of the article, my attention drifts to the often-pointless advertisements and pop-ups.

If print magazines and newspapers like Newsweek continue to shift to online only editions, journalism may suffer greatly.

Online sites based on eye-traffic and advertising solely may very well dominate journalism’s future.

I won’t be one of those people only looking at online media, though.

With my newspaper, cup of coffee and gas-guzzling V-8, I’ll be in my own independent paradise.

Shane Newell is a sophomore journalism major and an assistant city editor for the Daily 49er.

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