Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dearth of Print

Another casualty, another dollar (less) - media is going down the tubes, hard and fast. It's hard to imagine because in former recessions, we used to lay around all day and read newspapers and magazines about things we could never afford and profiles of people we could never be. Now, however, with digital goods and services, we've instant news and gratification (TMZ) and less spin and more critical thinking...
Forward thinkers argue that NYT should invest heavily in Kindle-readership, and abandon print for good (*and supply math to justify it). This to me is awesome, but it's also a utopian kind of dream that doesn't take into account the huge infrastructure to pull off. Still - when you look at the whole waste issue, it does seem inevitable that they'll have to go to this model sooner or later.
However - one argument in all of this that isn't surfaced is how much sales space has taken over media in the last 20 years and it's deafening impact on true content. I've seen actual "bias" in the media - and it's not conservative or liberal, it's "revenue". We've sold out actual information space to people who need to sell you cruise-ship packages, sectional-sofa sets and anxiety medication. Some rags are worse than others (the 'free magazines' I manage to get are circling the drain and getting thinner and thinner, ads getting larger and larger). If and when NYT goes this route - they'll have to switch to a pay-per article and probably abandon revenue-based advertising. Just my 02.

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