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Is print dead? Part I

Is print dead? Part I

A seismic shift is underway in the world of publishing. The very foundations of an industry are being redefined in real time, reports Communicate magazine. Part I

July 27, 2009 9:05 by

Once upon a time some people thought that radio would kill off print. And it was also once said that television would kill radio; later that video would kill TV. And now, that the Internet will kill all of the above. The all-powerful, all conquering Internet.

“We are preparing the caskets of print media,” said Abdullatif Al Sayegh, CEO of the Arab Media Group, at the Arab Media Forum in May. Othman Al Omair, editor-in-chief and publisher of Elaph, a daily electronic paper from Saudi Arabia, said print media has died and gone to heaven. The death of print and the rise of online media was a hot topic at the forum, with most industry experts predicting the demise of the newspaper.

Since it began its spread in the early nineties, the Internet has changed, evolved and innovated. For good or bad it has now arguably altered society permanently, and changed the very fabric of the communications industry.

With social networks, for instance, people are more connected than ever, (leaving little room for “sorry I haven’t kept in touch” excuses). And with streaming video content, the days of missing Justin Timberlake’s appearance on Saturday Night Live in New York, even if you’re all the way in Dubai, are numbered. And when a shoe is thrown at a president, news spreads…fast. First the video clip, and then the endless discussions on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and the like.

Thanks to this sense of urgency and immediacy, the act of leafing through a newspaper sheet by sheet, reading through columns and in-depth features, wrestling with the sheet to position it strategically next to a cup of coffee, and pawning the sports or lifestyle section off to a more interested companion seems like an obsolete concept.

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