Distinguishing between digital, print publications

The publication digitization scare might not be as serious of a problem as previous media and print organizations, such as The New York Times, predicted. Instead of an overall transition from one form to another exclusively, a digital/print compromise may be in order with publications across the board.

For example, news magazine Newsweek, which ceased its print publication in 2013, announced in December that it would return to print in 2014 after 14 months of being an exclusively online publication, according to a December NYT article.

In fact, in a NYT January news analysis article, it was suggested that print publications are settling into niches, some of which are finding much more success in print than online.

“Publishers who turned out under-designed and under-edited books and magazines in the Internet age have learned the hard way that consumers expect excellence in print,” said David Carr, NYT The Media Equation. “… As big, beautiful magazines like Vogue prove every month, print is not dead, it simply has some very specific attributes that need to be leveraged. Good printed work includes a mix of elements in which juxtaposition and tempo tell their own story, the kind of story best told with ink and paper.”

This was seen at Indiana University of Pennsylvania Thursday at the Co-op Finance Committee meeting as New Growth Arts Review, IUP’s literary magazine, appealed their denied funding, as the board suggested that they become an online publication. NGAR’s Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Sallada (senior, English) defended the importance of the publication print presence similarly to Carr, saying that print publications, especially those that are art heavy, are better suited in print despite digital benefits.

The board did rule to fund NGAR, but with a compromised cut of $1,000. This will cut the magazine’s presence on campus by possibly 100 copies or more with a suggestion that they make up for the loss through added digitization and a suggested donation. While adding the digital option can only help with distribution of NGAR and other print publications, visually heavy publications are made for print, like Newsweek discovered.

Let’s keep print alive where it needs to be – on paper.