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Opening Arguments


Magazines are following newspapers, TV networks, newspapers and all the rest of the "legacy media" in the wrong direction:

"What's hurting magazines the most is the loss of readers of its printed pages to the Internet," said magazine analyst Martin Walker.

"The titles with the strongest performances are the fashion and beauty titles whose pages can been seen only on their printed versions, not on the Internet," said Walker.

Who could have figured it? Put your stuff online for free and people will stop paying to see it in the original medium. Imagine if Hollywood had responded to TV by providing it with first-run movies simultaneous with their openings in theaters.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Steve Towsley
Mon, 02/19/2007 - 2:45pm

Actually, what's hurting magazines the most is loss of revenue. Whether the analysts are correct that the Internet is largely responsible is a matter for continuing research.

But I would add this very salient point --

People don't read as well as they used to. I've had various reasons to interact with other folks in situations where they have to read material, or worse, read material ALOUD at a meeting or forum, and it's remarkable how many people struggle with their reading.

I think it would be enlightening to look at the problem from that angle for a change. Who can read, who can't, how many adults read only at grade school level, how many adults hate to read BECAUSE they don't read well, how many buy magazines with large photos and brief text -- and on and on.

I think the Internet caters to people who don't read well, or read much, or like to read at all.

But how that huge audience got that way is, I am quite convinced, not an elementary true-or-false quiz question.

I think the results of significant in-depth research on all the factors that have led to Americans' shocking reading deficits could fill out a scholarly best seller.

Just, as they say, my .02. But don't bet against me on this line of inquiry.