Jay Cronley: Paper or plastic? It's the reader's decision
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Friday, July 27, 2012
7/27/12 at 5:02 AM
Here's the way this story was yawned along the day before yesterday: In other minor news, it looks like Newsweek in its original classic paper page form has dried up like a cornfield in the heartland. The printed issue of this magazine appears to be a dead magazine folding.
The strong suggestion that Newsweek's paper publication is gone after 79 years and that it will become an online-only presence is expected to be made official in September. But the further changing of the media landscape seems certain enough now: Soon, the information superhighway will pick up another panhandler.
The story that Newsweek has probably had it as a paper publication wasn't even trending.
Trending is what happens to a story when people with no disposable income sit around with nothing better to do than pound up easy-to-understand items that usually run with flashy pictures.
Seven-day itch: The premier weekly news magazines used to be Time and Newsweek, spoken and regarded in that order.
To some, these magazines were closer to punishment than happy reading: All right, young man, if you break curfew one more time, you'll be sent to your room to read Time and Newsweek.
Getting news on a weekly basis has always been a stretch.
Now that news is documented instantly, a week between printed pages can seem like a year.
Weekly magazines have had to personalize the news, leaning toward columns over almost-current events, writers over half-scoops.
No pages, no deliveries, fewer costs.
Newsweek has never played as hard to get as The New Yorker.
Weekly news magazines didn't run out of style so much as they ran out of touch.
Turning the page: Hardliners do all their reading on screens.
But some don't enjoy having to sit up straight during daily readings, or having to turn something on and off, or having to refresh, and charge. Some don't enjoy having to watch for viruses over breakfast, or having to guard one's identity with one's life over tea.
Pages are for relaxing with. They're meant to be touched. They're habit-forming.
Half-screens and half-pages make for a fuller life.
Where the news and analysis and entertainment and opinion come from is the public's call, same as always; editors and writers will send it by laser or pack animal.
Original Print Headline: Paper or plastic? It's the reader's decision