Friday, April 18, 2008

Where do the staff go when print dies?

In these potentially straitened economic times, there is much wringing of hands about job security particularly in the media industry's equivalent of the buggy whip business, print publishing. Two of my favourite bloggers touch on this today: Paul Conley in the US talks of the difficulties of making the transition from print to the online world, the obvious route:

I said that much of the industry had become "weighed down by the twin albatrosses of junk bonds and rising print costs." And I suggested that the "editors, salespeople and designers of B2B... walk away from print."

Meanwhile, Tom Crampton proposes the more radical solution of Singapore, although he does admit that its reputation for caning and censorship (not always in that order) may make it a less than obvious choice to the proud Pullitzer-wannabes of the New York Times.

Tom's post does, though, raise the interesting issue that print does not, yet at least, appear to be dying in Asia. If anything it's on a roll. I was told in Australia this week by one old friend who publishes a number of traditional trade magazines that they're all doing pretty well. We see B2B magazines in China growing at 20% a year and numerous new newspaper launches in India. There's no space in a blog post of this length to debate why or whether this is just the lull before the digital tsunami storms through the magazine and newspaper offices of Asia too.

Worth watching though...

P.S. Can anybody tell me why the URL links through to the LA Times? A cruel observation by a laid of editor?

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