I’m sorry to see that Newsweek is for sale, because I hate to see journalists lose their jobs — and yes, I know that it’s only for sale, not shutting down, but come on, I think we all know where this is going. I can’t think of the last time I saw a copy of Newsweek, or Time, for that matter. I can’t think of the last time I heard someone say, “Hey, did you read that piece in Newsweek?” Derek Thompson has a good rundown of Newsweek’s problems in the Web era. And
Derek Powazek has some thoughts about how to save newsweeklies. Excerpt:
Moments like this tend to cause flare-ups in the old print vs. web debate, which is as tedious and pointless as it’s always been. Different mediums have different strengths. The web is just better than paper at delivering time-sensitive news. It’s idiotic to pretend otherwise. And paper is still good at things the web is not, especially in getting people to actually pay for it. The solution is to use each medium for what it’s good at.If you can’t figure out what to do with that, someone else will.
It’s never been print vs. web – it’s attention vs. apathy. A bunch of people who care about the same thing is the most powerful, rare, and wonderful thing in the universe. It doesn’t matter how they find each other – web, print, a great disturbance in the force – it only matters that they find each other, and that they can do something with that shared attention to make the world a better place.
The real enemy is apathy. When no one cares, things get ugly. And the good news for newsweeklies is that there are more people who care about what’s going on in the world now than ever. They’re more connected than ever. And they want to put that energy toward accomplishing something.
UPDATE: For you journalists and journalism students among the readership, here’s a look at a 1965 boosterish book, “Your Career in Journalism”. Sample quote:
“If you are interested in public service and you can measure up to journalism’s obligations and standards, there’s a job on a newspaper for you.”