Old Sock Drawer

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#078: The new face of print media?

November 26th, 2009 by Mary Leong

Currently listening to: “Camilo (The Magician)” – Said the Whale

Imagine sitting down with a mug of coffee and a biscuit at breakfast-time, and reaching for a copy of the newspaper. Imagine your newspaper coming in this form:

i newspaper

A sample article in the newspaper:
article sample

provides a fascinating profile of i, a newly-established Portugese newspaper which seems to be bucking the worldwide trend of a decline in print media. This is all extremely exciting and quite heartening, even as we hear of newspapers in Canada going under due to falling readership and advertising (and let’s not even get into the issue of Who Reads the News Nowadays Anyway, because being uninformed is Simply Irksome).

On first glance, it can be a little disconcerting. The print layouts are more reminiscent of Nylon Magazine than Time Magazine; likewise, the website seems a little National Enquirer meets Lomography. But of course, this shift in aesthetic is key. The way people absorb and obtain news has changed dramatically in the past twenty years. Media sensationalism is at an all-time high with tons of on-line outlets providing up-to-the-second updates satiating our need to know on a per-second basis and somehow, the act of picking up a print newspaper and leafing through it to find what you’re interested in just seems so trite all of a sudden. I mean, why would you do that when you could just click on the link? (I was actually having a chat about this with my roommate the other day, not knowing that I’d be spurred on to write this entry so soon after!)

But there is no reason why perfectly legitimate, well-written print journalism cannot keep up a competitive edge by aligning itself to these changes in how people absorb information without compromising its content. In decrying the dearth of literacy, print journalism has to counteract it not by dumbing itself down, but rather, by maintaining high levels of journalism in combination with mainstream stylistic appeal. And I think that’s essential- not compromising the actual quality of news and writing simply to appeal to the masses.

Well, what can I say for myself? Even as I digitalize and trot along reading the news on-line from a good three to five different newspapers/magazines a day, it’d be difficult to resist the charms of a sleekly laid-out newspaper, accompanied by a steaming mug of coffee.

Tags:   4 Comments

4 responses so far ↓

  • […] I was leaving a comment for you on your print media post, but it became multi-paragraphed. Instead, here’s a post, in […]

  • 2 Eastwood Nov 27, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Here’s my slightly long comment :P : http://www.eastwoodzhao.com/changing-filters-of-print-media/

  • 3 Paulina Nov 29, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I LIKE IT! The style would probably take a while to get used to, and maybe not everyone will take it seriously, I would guess especially older generations… but it wouldn’t surprise me if one day more papers were this way.

  • 4 Mary Leong Nov 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    @Eastwood: I have surely, in turn, left a long comment on your entry :D

    @Paulina: I think that’s the point the article is trying to make- people may not take it seriously due to the way it looks, but the fact remains that it is quality journalism and legitimate news reporting, so there is no reason why print media will not shift to this glossier, more stylized concept while maintaining its journalistic standards.