By Theodore F. di Stefano
Aug 22, 2008 5:15 AM PT
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Most people are aware that print media is in trouble. Nationally, thousands of employees of print media companies, especially newspapers, have been laid off.
How do print media stay vital? Alternatively, will print media even exist 20 years from now?
Print Media Strengths
Print media have some pretty obvious strengths, like brand recognition. For example, take publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek and Time. All of these are established brands with millions of loyal readers.
As to readability, I usually enjoy picking up a newspaper rather than reading its contents online. In fact, many tech-savvy people prefer to read an actual newspaper or magazine as opposed to reading it online. There is a "friendliness" to print media because it is so tactile and prehensile.
Additionally, the fact that mass print media have been around for well over 500 years (Johannes Guttenberg is credited with having invented the first printing press in 1436) does in and of itself lend it an inertia of motion -- a familiarity which many of us are hard-pressed (no pun intended) to give up.
That said, e-media is constantly nipping at print media's heels, leading many observers to predict that the days of print media are numbered.
The most obvious advantage of e-media is that its contents are current and can be updated in a matter of minutes. Print media, of course, doesn't have that advantage.
Additionally, e-media is becoming more and more open source. That is, many bloggers and others have access to and disseminate breaking news well before print media can.
Print media has reluctantly and defensively put their publications online, usually in a free version that might requires a one-time registration. They are obviously doing this in order to maintain their advertising revenue. It seems to me that print media is now catching on fast that it has a real future in e-media.
Another large advantage of e-media is that more and more younger people are turning to it for the latest news. Since so many younger people are computer literate, it is a smooth and easy transition for them to get the news via the Internet. And for the reader who travels a great deal, many personal data assistants and smartphones have the capability to connect to online news services. Therefore, the readers' "newspaper" is either in their pocket or attached to their belts in the form of a cell phone.
Additionally, advertising revenue is continually increasing for e-media, taking needed revenues away from print media. No one I know thinks that this trend is likely to change. So, with print media's advertising revenue and readership declining, what lies in the future for this embattled model?
Print Media's Future
Of course, it is quite difficult and perhaps unwise to make any definitive prognostications about the future (or demise) of print media. My feeling is that it has to redesign its business model, thus fully redesigning its content.
Obviously, there is absolutely no way that print media can achieve the timeliness of e-media. Since they can't compete in real time, they have to look at another model that will sustain them and hopefully attract more readers in the future.
This model could take the form of in-depth analyses, including articles on politics, economics, business and world events. Such analyses need not be time sensitive. In fact, if they are, their effectiveness is greatly compromised.
My idea of a print media model is one that takes a "slice" out of media information, then goes into great detail about a particular subject, appealing to a specific audience. Only then, I believe, can print media sustain itself with adequate advertising revenues.
This new model might mean that major daily newspapers limit their publications to as little as one day per week. This would permit them to reduce staff to match their new mission. The fact is, hundreds of writers have been laid off in the last few years with no end to this trend in sight. As more and more younger people get their news online, there will be less and less of a need for daily newspapers.
This transition will likely not happen in the next year or so. But happen it will, I believe. It would be fun to be able to look 10 years into the future and observe how many daily newspapers and weekly magazines are still in existence.
My feeling is that e-media, including the ubiquitous bloggers, will be taking a larger and larger chunk out of print-media's "pie." Print media is certainly on the defensive. But I personally feel that it will always be around, in some form or another. The big question for print-media is what that form will take.
Theodore F. di Stefano is a founder and managing partner at Capital Source Partners, which provides a wide range of investment banking services to the small and medium-sized business. He is also a frequent speaker to business groups on financial and corporate governance matters. He can be contacted at Ted@capitalsourcepartners.com.
Print Media vs Electronic Media
The word media conjures up images of newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and internet along with reporters and correspondents with their recording devices and cameras running after celebrities. There was a time when the world of media was dominated by newspapers, and the owners of newspapers were moguls in their own right. The invention of radio and television opened up a world of possibilities and the media got divided into print and electronic versions. The recent emergence of the internet has added strength to electronic media in no uncertain terms. For those aspiring to make a career in the world of media, it is important to understand the differences between print media and electronic media. Let us take a closer look.
For nearly a century, media was synonymous with print media as newspapers and magazines were the only sources of communication and for dissemination of information. Books, periodicals, newspapers etc were a great medium in the form of paper and text, printed using ink. People had very few means of entertainment and relied a great deal upon information provided by print media, to make opinions. People started their mornings with newspapers to get their daily dose of information from the world of politics, entertainment, sports, and about their city and the world at large.
The information being in printed form, it is possible to carry newspapers to all places and read them anytime one desires. However, uneducated and illiterate people cannot make use of print media as they cannot read. In print media, reporters and writers have no face and they are behind the scenes, loving a life of anonymity. Print media is not available at all times and gets published at regular intervals so that one has to wait for the fresh edition to arrive in the market.
Electronic media includes all mediums of sharing information that are not in print form. Therefore, radio, television, and the internet make up this form of media. People can listen on radio and see live pictures of events and calamities along with the comments, opinions, and remarks of correspondents and experts who are now in front of the camera and not behind the scenes. All this has made electronic media a much more powerful version of media as it has visual appeal and more convincing power. Live pictures can be very moving, turning the opinions of people much more easily than printed text. Electronic media, especially television, has been instrumental in taking not just information but also transforming the world of entertainment.
With electronic media, we have 24 hours news channels beaming programs that are live. This means that one can get access to the latest breaking news anytime of the day and he need not wait till morning to know what happened last evening. Live telecast of events has made the world a small place to live in as people can enjoy sporting events being held thousands of kilometers away while being able to watch political summits and other important events. Who can forget the live images of Pentagon and World Trade Centre being attacked by terrorists on 9/11? Similarly, natural calamities are beamed right when they take place to all parts of the world making people aware of what is happening in remote corners of the world.
What is the difference between Print Media and Electronic Media?
• Print media is the earlier of the two types of media, and it ruled the scene for nearly a century
• Print media is available at regular intervals, and it is not possible to get to the fresh edition when one desires while electronic media is available 24X7 and one can get access to breaking news in all parts of the world through live pictures
• One can get to electronic forms of newspapers anytime of the day on their computers through internet
• Print media thus has a presence online, and the thin dividing line between print and electronic media has become blurred
"Difference Between Print Media and Electronic Media." DifferenceBetween.Com. July 5, 2012. < http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-print-media-and-vs-electronic-media/ >
Filed Under: Print MediaTagged With: Electronic Media, Print Media