Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

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Thread: Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

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    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

    This has been going on for a while - anyone who pays attention to the state of journalism and publishing knows that a lot of even major newspapers have been affected by the rise of Internet news (see, for example, The Christian Science Monitor's decision to go online-only) - but the dot-com boom has particularly affected the state of alternative news media. This is back in my mind, though, because a pretty big name in alternative news, the Boston Phoenix, is shutting its doors, seemingly permanently:

    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Magazine
    The Boston Phoenix will put out its final issue March 22, after which it will shut its doors for good, according to a company statement. Though this isn’t a sunny time for newspapers, or alt-weeklies in particular, the sudden news is still shocking and very, very sad. In the statement, owner Stephen Mindich wrote:

    "As everyone knows, between the economic crisis beginning in 2007 and the simultaneous radical changes in the media business, particularly as it has affected print media advertising, these have been extremely difficult times for our Company and despite the valiant effort by many, many past and current staff to attempt to stabilize and, in fact, reverse our significant financial losses, we have been unable to do so and they are no longer sustainable.

    Because of their smaller scale of operations and because we believe that they remain meaningful publications to their communities, with some necessary changes to each, it is our intent to keep the Providence and Portland Phoenixes operating and to do so for as long as they remain financially viable. The same is true for Mass Web Printing Co."
    As a Bostonian who has usually been a fan of the Phoenix and thought they provided an interesting, much-needed voice in local journalism, this makes me sad that I'm losing my local paper. But even for those outside of Boston who don't care about this particular paper, unfortunately, their fortunes are indicative for a lot of alternative news sources around the country. Another popular one in my former home of Baltimore, called Urbanite, closed its doors last fall. Boston Magazine has another, longer article on the fortunes of the Phoenix and how it's indicative of issues with other alternative news weeklies around the country.

    As a writer in particular, this makes me sad because alternative papers have often been a way for beginning writers to make a name for ourselves, get paid and break into the journalism business early in our careers; they often hire people in college or right out of it to write for them. The Phoenix was a big name and I'm not sure if they did that, but if even they are ill-affected by the rise of Internet media, what does that say for the other alternative papers in Boston and elsewhere that aren't as well-known, and have helped so many of us young writers get our feet in the door?

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    Dragonborn Sorcerer Lord Naarghul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

    More instantaneous news, like cable news and the internet, has doomed newspapers. Those that have adapted to technology are the ones that are surviving. Those that haven't will not survive. Heck, even local news is easier to find online than it is in the newspaper anymore. It's the same reason books aren't selling as well, and why magazines like Nintendo Power have faded into history.
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    I poke your snoot UnovaCastaway's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

    A family friend of mine worked on graphic design for the Boston Phoenix. She lamented on her Facebook post today. I actually stopped by their office when I visited Boston last spring.

    I agree that many publications are being shuttered because of the Internet. It's probably cheaper to run a website with infinite advertising space than it is to print and deliver physical copies. The print publications that DO survive are either large, established institutions (NYT, WSJ, etc) and/or have a paywall on their websites encouraging subscriptions. I don't think print media will go completely extinct, because there are certain places ie big cities where lots of people are on the move and can use reading material that's able to be passed on to others, if need be. Not everyone has a smartphone or tablet or computer on them 24/7.
    Misato Katsuragi likes this.

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    Uncool before it was cool EpicBacon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

    Definitely is.

    One of the many reasons that Journalism majors are making less and less!

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    Beausoleil Jabberwocky's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Naarghul View Post
    Heck, even local news is easier to find online than it is in the newspaper anymore. It's the same reason books aren't selling as well, and why magazines like Nintendo Power have faded into history.
    I was under the impression NP folded because Nintendo opted not to continue the license?

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    URPG! GliscorMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Naarghul View Post
    Heck, even local news is easier to find online than it is in the newspaper anymore. It's the same reason books aren't selling as well, and why magazines like Nintendo Power have faded into history.
    I was under the impression NP folded because Nintendo opted not to continue the license?
    Why do you think they opted out?

    Newspaper companies are losing money like crazy, same with magazines and most books.

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    Beausoleil Jabberwocky's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

    Quote Originally Posted by GliscorMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Naarghul View Post
    Heck, even local news is easier to find online than it is in the newspaper anymore. It's the same reason books aren't selling as well, and why magazines like Nintendo Power have faded into history.
    I was under the impression NP folded because Nintendo opted not to continue the license?
    Why do you think they opted out?

    Newspaper companies are losing money like crazy, same with magazines and most books.
    I'd have to see the magazine's sales history before settling on that conclusion. If sales were declining significantly prior to the decision being made, I might be more inclined to believe you.

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    Default Re: Is the Internet killing alternative print news?

    On August 21, 2012, Nintendo announced that they would not be renewing their licensing agreement with Future Publishing, and that Nintendo Power would cease publication in December 2012.
    Source: Wikipedia

    Yeah, NP folded because of Nintendo, not sales.

    As for print media, oh well. That's capitalism.
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