Is Print Dead or is it Just in Transition?

Many of you know that Source Media will soon roll Practical Accountant and Accounting Technology into Accounting Today. I am saddened by the loss of the publication’s two editors and colleagues, Jeff Stimpson (Practical Accountant) and Bob Scott (Accounting Technology), and wish them well in their new endeavors. The loss of these two niche publications begs the question: Is print dead? Just recently, print editions of the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased publication, and many other publications and newspapers have abandoned their print products to ultimately take up residence in an online-only world. A Time magazine article, in fact, discussed the 10 most endangered newspapers in America. My belief is that print isn’t dead; it’s just in transition due to our economy and the business marketplace. Banking, for example, is experiencing similar conditions. Banks are struggling, but banking isn’t dead. Do the math. Print editions of any newspaper or magazine cannot exist solely on subscriptions. Advertising is often the main source of revenue, and with companies devoting less of their budgets to advertising, it’s logical that print will suffer ... at least for now. As a guy brought up reading the daily newspaper and subscribing to magazines, I have it in my DNA to touch the paper, feel the newsprint and get my hands dirty. I enjoy it and can’t imagine a day going by without reading the local paper, let alone national magazines offering opinions attempting to influence my thinking – and I’m not the only one who feels that way. The CPA Technology Advisor April/May print edition just mailed this past week, and already, I’ve had calls from readers who echoed this same sentiment. Of course, you can’t ignore what’s happening online. Still, while content is immediate and informative, we have to remind ourselves that whether you’re a Baby Boomer like me or a Millennial like my son, online content is only one of several delivery methods. It’s no surprise that some of our 2008 40-Under-40 members enjoy and appreciate the culture associated with print publications and newspapers. There’s no doubt our world is changing, but I still contend that when the economy improves, print will come back stronger than ever, with content and delivery addressed and refined for a global audience.