I got a flier in the mail today from Newsweek, a magazine I pretend to read. It said that if I renewed now, I could get the next year’s worth of issues (that’s 54 issues, mind you) for only 59 cents an issue. I’m flipping through the latest issue right now, with “Deep Throat” on the cover. This is pretty high quality paper. Every single page is full color. It’s 88 pages long, plus the front and back cover. It’s usually decent writing, too.
I’m not going to renew. Not even for 59 cents an issue. It’s not a content problem, although it’s true that I don’t have time to read it all after sifting through the stories I don’t care about. It’s just that I get the news I really care about elsewhere. Paper is a dying medium. It’s good for some things, certainly. Artwork is one. Reading a book still feels better on paper than a computer screen, although I happen to prefer the audio format for fiction. I’d rather look at photography on some kind of paper-based product than on a computer screen, assuming there were no opportunities for interactivity.
Still, the ‘Net is having a vast impact on the print medium, to the extent that they can practically give their stuff away, and people like me still won’t take it.
My semi-obvious prediction: TV is the next major medium to change (or suffer) due to the Internet.