You may have heard: Newsweek is over. At least in print form.
If Newsweek had announced this a few years ago
Three years ago, the masses weren’t toting around tablets. Today, though, an online search for tablet ownership will show that approximately 25 percent of the US adult population has a tablet — and that even more people will own tablets soon. This rise in ownership, I believe, has changed the tenor of Newsweek’s announcement to shutter its print operations after 2012. Having an online-only version of a magazine no longer means the perception of a second-best delivery method. Today, “online version” can look just like the print magazine — and, in Star-Trek style, be in your hand.
The future Newsweek may inspire
What may be missing from Newsweek’s shift is access by those who don’t have the technology. I write “may be missing” because public-interest organizations, such as libraries, from what I’ve witnessed, have been addressing the issue of technology access in increasing manners.
And could Newsweek, unlike when The Christian Science Monitor shifted much of its work to be online in the past years, be the tipping point for this kind of action? Could Newsweek become the one we all point to as the publication that showed us that ending print publication no longer meant a last-ditch effort? That it instead meant to be relevant was about understanding purpose over method and being able to honor purpose through new method? That’s tough for me to write about, because I think much is lost from replacing a print book with a tablet-cum-book, though Newsweek may show what’s inevitable for quickly-consumed items like short-news-piece glossies: survival means adaptation and saving money on printing costs.