Writing Exercise: Print Media Part Two

Here is part two from yesterday’s writing exercise pertaining to print media.

How has the development of the Internet, wireless communication, computers, and hand-held digital devices affected print media companies’ products and sales?

Most of the revenue that print media brings in, specifically newspapers, comes from advertisements that are printed. This particular kind of revenue has lessened significantly. Websites like Craigslist, Amazon, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace has put newspaper revenue from the classifieds under great threat. In the past, discovering what was happening in another part of the world required buying a national newspaper, watching a thirty minute segment of news on the television, or directly calling somebody stationed there. Nowadays, it only takes several minutes to type in a website and see a headline regarding something three thousand miles away. With the introduction of technology such as cell phones, we can access that same internet, look up the information, and continue on our way while being anywhere in the world. In place of the lack of putting advertisements in a paper, magazine, or selling copies of either, most people can just hop online and find what they need. These people pay for their internet, but not for what the internet provides.

What changes have print media companies made to incorporate new technology into their traditional products? Have these changes been successful or unsuccessful? Why?

Obviously, some print media companies have adapted relatively well to new technology. Every bit of information I have found in my research of the New York Times was found on their website. Most of the technological elite have made it a priority to help struggling print media organizations. The author of that articles explains that certain actions, such as Amazon owner Jeffrey P. Bezos buying The Washington Post, are helping print media organizations adapt so they can continue to thrive. If we look at certain organizations such as The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and TIME, we see that each one has a specific website. Rather than purchasing subscriptions to physical copies of the print, you can purchase a much cheaper subscription to their online articles and services. The kind of free information you can find on CNN.com, however, has caused some dissonance in this regard. Some of the New York Times’ information can be found and read free of charge, while other articles cost money. After all, advertising on the internet is usually free and easy to make.

How have consumers reacted to these changes?

It seems that for the most part, consumers have accepted new technologies and changes in place of printed media. However, some people stuck in a non-digital age are far less inclined to adapt. My late grandfather refused to use a computer or a cell phone. Instead, he still purchased the paper copy of the local newspaper and had it delivered daily. Others, however, including myself, have adapted well to the changes. I have a Kindle where I own several dozen books, all installed within rather than carrying an overabundance of weight in books. Also, I have come to find that most digital prices have been reduced as opposed to the physical, printed copy. Most digital books, subscriptions, and premium accesses are all lower than their physical counterpart. Another reason you see so many people with cell phones and tablets is because the speed at which they receive their information is exponentially faster than waiting for print.

Choose three major publications for each medium, identify their target audience, and describe their unique writing style and what makes them stand out in the marketplace.

Newspapers: New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post
Magazines: TIME, Reader’s Digest, Entertainment Weekly

The New York times is targeted at upscale readers. The Wall Street Journal is targeted towards people in the business world. The Washington Post caters to people of many ages with information for the educated, young, uneducated, and old alike.

The New York Times is written to inform the higher educated person about our current time while offering resolutions to the problems it describes. The Wall Street Journal is a matter of fact, by the numbers type newspaper while offering business advice. The Washington Post is written like a blog, covering a wide array of topics that cater to people of all beliefs and ages. These newspapers each offer different views, summaries, and opinions on different topics in our day to day lives.

TIME is catered towards those that are well educated and those with international curiosities. Reader’s Digest is catered to families and the “every day” person. Entertainment Weekly is targeted towards those overly interested in pop culture and celebrities.

TIME is written from an informative viewpoint to educate people on the happenings around the world. Reader’s Digest is a more family friendly style publication, offering fun advice and inspirational stories rather than gritty reality. Entertainment Weekly is filled with reviews and interviews about certain pop culture mediums. Even though people write and discuss these matters daily, these are well educated opinions, comments, and reviews of things that affect our daily lives or provide our daily entertainment.

What are the publishing trends of the three publications? How are these publications changing based on the current climate and technological advance of the world?

As far as I know, the newspaper publications are still printed daily and weekly. However, with the ease of the internet at our fingertips, all three offer expansive internet usage including the ability to subscribe and receive their writings directly through the internet.

Just as the newspapers have done, all three of these publications can be found online as well. Some of them require subscriptions, such as Entertainment Weekly and TIME, but Reader’s Digest allows almost full access to everything for free via their website.

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