Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Importance of Print Publications

Keith O’Brien of PRWeek recently wrote an article titled; Print journalism teaches us the importance of precision. In the article, O’Brien discusses the pros and real importance of print publications and what they still bring to the table in comparison to the Web. O’Brien spells it out as clear as day saying, “You can’t read Web sites in the subway (though you can read RSS feeds, and wireless connectivity is on the way); print publications are easier on the eyes; everyone wants something tangible to hold in his or her hands; and a spread provides a better opportunity to display a story’s expanse than a six page breaks online.”

He also outlines three tried and true reasons why we should all care about print which are listed below.

- The judgments of journalists and readers keep things in context. The print issue takes the news of the world into a substantive, concise solution. No print title can ever encompass all the news that’s fit to print, but it can constrain it.

- In each story, we have to reach the core elements in a shorter space. This benefits all, providing both writers and readers the challenge of constructing arguments in shorter spaces and times. The world still revolves around the elevator pitch, which is what a print story ensembles. I have never encountered a piece written above word count – including Op-Eds – that couldn’t do with a fat trimming.

- Deadlines help us all. I know very well that the “unofficial deadlines” of a Web property are frenetic and unforgiving. I know very well that a publication that wants relevancy online needs to publish as close to instantaneous as possible. But those online deadlines that never begin nor end don’t teach us much. Print deadlines are real. They control the situation. There’s no room to follow up – or amend – later that day. Print deadlines give us a structure by which to operate.

I found this article to be very interesting and hope as O’Brien does that print stays viable forever.

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