Newsweek announces its final print edition after 80 years. Does this mean print is finally a thing of the past?
Newsweek and Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown announced this morning via Twitter that after 80 years, the publication will go digital-only starting in 2013. December 31, 2012 will be the last issue of the classic weekly. Brown cites the economics of print as a motivator as well as readers' ever-increasing use of tablets and smartphones.
According to their statement, by year's end, 70 million people in the U.S. are expected to use tablets, up 13 million from two years ago. Brown goes on to outline that:
Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.\n
Newsweek's announcement comes just days after speculation that the Guardian UK would discontinue their daily print edition after citing losses of £44 million a year. According to an article in the Telegraph UK, the Guardian's newspapers generate three quarters of Guardian News Media’s revenues but do not turn a profit.
A Pew Research study found that currently, 55 percent of regular New York Times readers say they read the paper mostly on a computer or mobile device, as do 48 percent of regular USA Today and 44 percent of Wall Street Journal readers, so perhaps both the Guardian and Newsweek are getting out of the print game just in time.
There are benefits of going all-digital: conserving resources, and saving money. But there are downsides, too: losing the tangibility of a print publication, pictures that live outside a screen, and of course, layoffs—friends at Newsweek are already citing job losses.
The prediction of print's imminent demise has become a chorus difficult to ignore and it seems we're at the tipping point. So we thought we'd ask you, the GOOD audience, how you get your news and information. Do you still buy and read traditional print publications, or do you get your information online? A mixture of the two? Will you mourn the loss of Newsweek's print edition, and potentially the Guardian's, or is that just the way of the future?