What do you think the fate of print media is?

Electronic documents have been gaining prominence for years now — pretty much for my entire lifetime. Now, with the burgeoning popularity of e-readers like the Kindle, it seems that even books are no longer safe. I’d like to engage in a bit of wild speculation! Will print media go extinct? Would that be a good thing? A bad thing? Let’s play soothsayers.


  1. 0 Votes

    I think that print will go extinct rather soon.  We have already seen the fall of the newspaper in the last few years.  And when it does go into the digital age, I think that would be a bad thing.  Just like with music and movies that are pirated, novels would become the subject of that as well.  The authors will lose out on the potential money that could be made and the quality of work will go down.  I think that the outlook for print media is pretty bad, unless it is switched to a website that is free and takes advantage of advertising money.  Even then, local bookshops would close, same with newspaper and magazine stands meaning a further loss of jobs.  From an environmental standpoint that would be good because that means less paper used.  But from an economical it is a pretty bad deal. 

  2. 0 Votes

    Personally, I think that print media will hang around for a long time. Although subscriptions are down, many people still like to have something tangible that they can read. If eventually, electronic newspapers completely eclipse paper copies, it will take at least a generation to happen.

    However, most newspapers and magazines DO have a strong electronic component already. I think this will become more and more important. Online, newspapers use multi media, such as videos. Also, content is more personalized – you can subscribe to the RSS feed of just the sports section if that’s all you want to read, etc. I think this personalization will develop even more over the next few years.

    • dj3
      0 Votes

      As far as books go, I think they are even less prone to extinction than newspapers. Most people don’t like to read books on screens. Again, it will take at least the amount of time of a generation of screen-readers from birth to become the decision makers until books are no longer printed. And I still don’t think it will happen that soon.

    • 0 Votes

      Yeah, definitely. It’s my personal prediction that books will never go away, though they will be relegated more and more to libraries and institutions dedicated to preserving primary documents. I think, at most, small books will be largely replaced as the preferred reading medium for popular consumption, but the usefulness of print as a means to archive the collected information of mankind in tangible, analog form will prevent us from seeing a true ‘death of print’.

    • dj3
      0 Votes

      Plus, I think most of academia have a sort of emotional bond with books, and for no reason other than that would insist that everything be printed!

    • 0 Votes

      Oh, absolutely! I, personally, love the tangible nature of a good book. It’s hard not to wax poetical about the nature of books. Whether a crisp new paperback or a creaking, archaic hardcover, I love the sheer physicality them all!

  3. 0 Votes

    I think the majority of print media will die out.  I also think books will be around much longer than newspapers and magazines, mainly because it seems that while the kindle is popular, some people like the tangible feeling of reading an actual book.  I do think that newspapers and magazines will soon be available exclusively online.  Perhaps big newspapers will print an issue weekly, but with all the recent magazine closings and money woes, the future doesn’t look that bright for print media.

  4. 0 Votes

    While newspapers may die out, we must be hopeful that quality journalism doesn’t.  The fear is that with fewer hard news publications, and more blogs and speculative sites, the quality of journalism, the accuracy of reporting, and the demand for insight will decrease. 


    Part of the failure has been do to the fact that when all newspapers started going online this past decade, some offered the content for free.  Competitors could not charge for their content or risk losing readers. Since then, despite trying, newspaper websites have offered their content for free and have lost money.  Had the first newspapers charged users during the transition from print to online, perhaps they would not be folding so fast.

  5. 0 Votes

    It is not the medium of print itself that I fear going extinct, but rather the standards of traditional journalism. Whether it is cable news talking heads like Beck and Olbermann or blog spammers like the Huffington Post, there is a downward trend in media towards sensationalism, emotion over reason, flimsy analysis, and poor fact checking. The “journalism” seen in these forms of media is a far cry from that taught in respected universtities and oftentimes practiced by traditional print media outlets.

    Unfortunately to-date, the traditional print media companies have been unable to successfully monetize their content on the web to support the high costs required to produce it. If this trend continues, we can expect more screeming Becks, Olbermanns, O’Reilys, Palins, et al. to dominate the “news” on the airwaves, and more photos of Tiger Woods’ mistresses and Tila Tequila to dominate the “news” on the web.

  6. 0 Votes

    As long as there’s a demand for anything, it will stay around.  I don’t think that print media will completely die out because some people will probably still prefer it.  However, I think most people will find it more convenient to get their information from electronic sources if things continue in technology the way they are right now.  Ultimately, I think print media will be a “niche market,” but electronic media will be the more popular of the two.

  7. 0 Votes

    I think it will become obsolete as we know it now….but it could still be around by using sustainable products.

  8. 0 Votes

    Although I think that print media will eventually become less mainstream, I do not think that it will ever disappear entirely.  Regardless of the time, or state of technology, I believe that there will always be a demand for print publications.  I know that I personally prefer having something in print as opposed to the electronic version, especially when it comes to school work.  Print media will probably always be around, it will just be harder to come by.

  9. 0 Votes

    With the internet and easily portable computers, including iPhones and e-readers, I think print-media’s time is limited. However, I certainly hope historical archives will be kept of “the era of print media.” It would be a shame to lose all of the beautiful books in the world, even if they are available in digital form.

  10. 0 Votes

    This a question I have often wondered about. On the one hand, I love to have something physical to hold while I’m reading, an object like a magazine or paperback book I can throw in my bag to have with me all the time; something I don’t have to worry too much about wear and tear on or having another thing to think about keeping charged up. On the other hand, this is wasteful- both of the media forms I mentioned require cutting down trees. Even though I recycle old magazines and books, I still feel conflicted and don’t have a clear solution to offer. 

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