Show and Tell: The beginning of the end?

Amanda Shendruk on Newsweek’s news and the future of print

by Amanda Shendruk

Newsweek has announced that at the end of 2012 it will cease publishing its print version. From then on, it will be e-only. Is this the beginning of the end of print?

The move is notable, as it represents one of the first major publications to ditch paper and ink. They’re taking an all-or-nothing dive into digital that few have attempted—and the industry will certainly be observing. Just as we watched the pay-wall pioneers to see if readers would pitch in for online news, we will now watch Newsweek, eager to see if its full online embrace will flounder or flourish.

It’s a brave (or perhaps desperate?) action, but is it one that any of our own news publications could even consider? Canada tops most countries in Internet usage, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready for an online-only news industry.

A recent Ipsos Reid poll conducted for the Canadian Journalism Foundation can help us find the answer. What percentage of Canadians are clinging to hard copy, and which are going digital for their daily dose?

It looks like there’s still significant support for printed journalism. But haven’t we all heard the mantra that “print is dying”? Well, in Canada at least, we don’t need to write a eulogy for the newspaper just yet. By looking at the readership of five of the largest newspapers in our country, it’s not immediately clear that the industry is on its last legs. Take a look at how Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, Le Journal de Montreal, the National Post and the Toronto Star have fared during hte past decade.




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Show and Tell: The beginning of the end?

  1. ‘There are no newspapers on the bridge of the Enterprise.’

  2. Newsweek’s real problem was it became a sort of leftish tabloid.
    It should have imitated The Economist, but with better pictures; instead it tried to make The Nation and Mother Jones look reactionary, whilst practicing Gawkers journalistic ethics.

    • Nowt to do with left or right….tis the way of all print

      The Economist is having the same problem….and is online btw.

  3. One interesting consequence: The Canadian government cannot impose Canadian content on digital magazines. The online version will not be sprinkled with Canadian stories (for better or worse) as was its Canadian-sold physical mag.
    (This assumes the government imposes a minimum % of Canadian content in our magazines? I seem to believe that it does, although a quick Google search couldn’t confirm it. However, when flying abroad, I usually read a copy of the Economist at a Canadian airport, and another one at my destination (usually the US or UK) that same day, and find that the Canadian version has many “forced” articles on Canada, while the international versions seem to be filled with more quality, and less stuffed/forced content…)

  4. With Obama on the cover it seems to imply the beginning of the end, especially during election time.

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