Newsweek Goes Digital Only

This week, Newsweek announced that the final print edition of the 80 year-old magazine would appear this coming December 31.  This site launched with an interview with Newsweek veteran Christopher Dickey, who writes this morning, “Digital does not mean dead.  Far from it.” Read his post on Shadowland Journal.

I remember the proclamation “paper is dead” being echoed almost immediately after we tried email for the first time.  While that prediction didn’t exactly hold true, one could imagine that the print component of news organizations would inevitably become a cost that was out of synch with the way most people would consume news.  My hope is that readers continue to place value on the real investment these organizations make in experienced professionals who do the investigation and reporting. Above all, as the digital world has exploded the notion how we define news, these professionals, regardless of the tools they employ, maintain traditional standards that must be preserved.

Best of luck to the men and women of Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

© 2012, David Newhoff. All rights reserved.

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  • “Best of luck to the men and women of Newsweek and The Daily Beast.”

    Sympathetic as I am to the working press, I’m afraid I cannot endorse this sentiment wholeheartedly. Few media outlets have so embodied the decline of U.S. journalism over the past three decades as Newsweek. While it will be tempting to blame the demise of the print edition entirely on the economics technological change and the unwillingness of consumers to pay for news in the digital age that is only part of the story. The unavoidable fact is that the “traditional standards” have been abandoned by Newsweek and it has become a publication not worth paying for, even if were still available at the 1939 introduction rate of 10 cents.

    The deterioration became particularly pronounced after the 2010 sale of the publication to Sidney Harmon (husband of former Rep. Jane Harmon of CA) when the lingering vestiges of journalistic seriousness built into the corporate culture of the Washington Post Company were thrown off with what can only be described as glee.

    So, yes, best of luck to any long-standing serious minded individuals who have by circumstances been compelled to endure the soul-crushing experience of working in the Tina Brown Newsweek. But quite the contrary to the bevy of more “hip” and “modern minded” who have recently come aboard the sinking ship. The magazine they produced over the last couple of years was a disgrace best put out of its misery.

    • Don’t beat around the bush, Cormac, tell us how you feel. You raise valid criticisms, although I would say that every news organization, unfortunately, has had to grapple not only with technological change but with a more profound cultural change (one that begins with CNN in my opinion) that truly blurred the line between entertainment and news. In short, Newsweek and many other news organizations have had little choice but to balance the hip with the serious in order to be in business at all.

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