Newsweek to Go All Digital in 2013

by Alison Lueders

Last week, Newsweek announced it is going all digital in 2013. Its print edition will cease on December 31, 2012.

I have mixed feelings about this. As a green (eco-friendly) business person, I applaud a decision that reduces the cutting down of trees, the manufacture of paper (a highly toxic process), and the printing and distribution of magazines each week that produce tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, I grew up enjoying the feel of a book or magazine in my hand, turning the pages, dog-earing the ones I want to go back to. There is something distinctly less inviting about a tablet – although I have and regularly use my Kindle Fire.

Whether you love or hate this news, I appreciate that Newsweek at least made a crisp decision. Lately, in what I can only guess is an attempt to “jazz up” their magazine, Businessweek’s print edition has taken to putting graphics on its pages in such a way that you have to turn the magazine sideways and upside down to read them all. Not only do I feel ridiculous doing that, it almost guarantees that I lose my place in the article itself. If BW is attempting to be “cooler” or more interesting by doing this, I wish they would stop.

I also lament the lost jobs for the folks who produce the print version of Newsweek, but I suspect there will only be more such decisions to come. As is so often the case, money is at the root of this decision. According to the New York TImes, Newsweek was losing about $40 million per year.

So what does this mean for web editors? I have to believe it’s good news. As more traditional print moves online, there will be more opportunities for those of us who create and manage online content already.

How do you see Newsweek’s decision?

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2 thoughts on “Newsweek to Go All Digital in 2013

  1. Newsweek is one thing – The Guardian is serioulsy considering the same move. Losing a national newspaper would be a big shock to the industry. Of course, new production is more expensive than other print media so it might be that we shouldn’t read too much into it.

  2. We have lost newspaper print to digital or seen newspapers reduce print frequency in a few markets here in the U.S. The biggest problem is companies finding a new business model that allows them to fund print while giving in to the desire see free information online. There are a few experiments afloat, but nothing so far that’s made a mark in the market. It seems the trend will continue until one does.

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