Stephen King once said that “sooner or later, everything is new again.” Stephanie Mills said, “Everything that’s old is new, and everything that’s new is old.”
For some time now, print has been considered “old” and technology/Internet is “new.” But if high waist short shorts, crop tops and leggings can make a comeback. Certainly print newspapers can too. (They didn’t actually go away, but some say they have been in a steady decline.)
In a time when digital/Internet continues to grow and expand, one British paper has done the opposite of what many newspapers/ industries are doing.
They’ve gone print. The New Day, a new start-up, is a print-only daily. The paper prints five times a week, is available at 40,000 newsstands across Britain and sells for 70 cents.
But what it doesn’t have is a website or app. And the only social media presence they have is promoting their print product: “broadcasting screen shots of its front page and teasers about specific articles.”
Courtney Collins doesn’t believe that this type of paper can thrive in today’s world, a time when most industries are switching to or focusing more on digital/Internet.
“People want immediate information right at their fingertips. Instant gratification,” said Collins, associate producer at KNOE 8 News. “How can one obtain the same excellent results in the shortest amount of time?”
Collins graduated from ULM with a degree in mass communications in 2013.
One aspect in which the news industry has thrived on the web is in breaking the news. Reporters are able to publish and update stories in real-time. That’s what people want.
In an NYTimes article, Alison Philipps, editor of The New Day, said, “‘There is still a significant number of people who have the habit in their blood’ of paying for content and who prefer the experience of reading off-line.”
The newspaper has a “photo-driven design and colorful typography.” It has a wide range of topics and “a punchy, conversational tone.”
This could be one reason why this paper will thrive. Some print newspapers are too dense while others are often one-sided. There are some that are just not appealing to the eyes. People want to look at things that are more visually interesting and that’s what the New Day is striving for.
“It’s not just about news. It is about the experience. For many people, going to a Facebook page for the news is pretty unfulfilling,” Philipps said in the same article.
The experience of reading a print newspaper is different than reading the news online. You can hold the newspaper, feeling it’s pages. It even has a smell. It’s something physically in your hand. You can flip the pages. It’s this experience that matters and another reason why Philipps believes the paper will succeed.
The digital/ Internet presence is growing in every aspect of our daily lives. We work on computers. We are constantly on our smartphones. We spend so much time on our tablets or watching television. Our eyes never get a break from screens.
A blog on acsmediakit.com lists this as one key benefit to print. This could also be another reason this new paper thrives in a digital world.
“Print allow you to step away. It catches people when they’re singularly focused on the page in front of them – not going back and forth between multiple screens,” the blog reads.
It’s hard to focus on only one thing on the Internet because you can have multiple tabs open at once. While you’re reading an article on the NYTimes, you can be listening to music, watching Netflix, scrolling down Facebook and so many other things.
With the print product in front of you, it’s more likely that you will focus on what you’re reading. Not that there can’t be other distractions: work, children, cooking, etc. But there are a lot fewer distractions than when you’re on the Internet.
Collins said she doesn’t mind leaving her phone at home, reading a hardcover book or picking up a newspaper to read. She said that she believes there are still people like that, but also people who can’t go one minute without some form of technology.
“The younger generation doesn’t want to step away from the screen if everything they need is right there,” Collins said.
But since this paper won’t be like other print papers that are out there, who knows if it won’t be appealing to the younger generation? Maybe its “photo-driven design” will lore the younger generation in.
Is it possible for print flourish again? Or is it continuing to fall to its ultimate death?
The first newspaper was published in Boston in 1690. Since the 1700s, newspapers have always been the primary medium of journalism.
Print has continued to maintain its credibility throughout the years. It has found ways to flourish despite constant changes in technology. Could print be making a comeback? I guess time will only tell.