Go online or going online?Friday, May 08, 2009 By Bianca Crudo - Arts & Leisure Editor
No more lost issues! Ever had a magazine misplaced by the post office? Chewed up by the dog? Borrowed by your BFF? No problem – each digital edition in your NYLON subscription is always available to you, on our website or your computer! With the recession more prominent than ever, money is staying in the pockets of the consumer. Naturally, this hurts all of the major industries: automobiles, clothing, banking, technology, you name it. One industry people often forget about is the news industry, and the economic crisis is now threatening to shut it down. In a recent report from the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), 62 magazines announced digital initiatives in the second quarter of 2007, which is a 139% increase over the same time period in 2006. These "digital initiatives" include widgets, mobile content, more videos for websites, innovations in user-generated content and social networks, and many website redesigns. In the past two years the statistics from 2007 have increased and now include some of the most popular magazines and newspapers in the United States. Newspapers and magazines like Nylon, PC Magazine, and the Christian Science Monitor have all become online papers. When Lance Ulanoff, the Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine, wrote an open letter to all PC readers, he wrote that, "Of course, as with any technology-related enterprise, this is not the end, but the beginning of something exciting and new." However, most readers do not feel the same way. Having a newspaper in hand allows for one to carry it with them instead of being forced to sit down and read from a computer screen. In addition, the idea of having something in hand and not on a screen is comforting to most readers. Unfortunately, without online access, newspapers and magazines would be extinct all together because they are no longer economically feasible for publishers. Ulanoff explained to his readers that the pros of become an online paper much outweigh the cons, "It arrives to your email automatically… It is portable… It looks like the [magazine] you’re familiar and comfortable with… It’s interactive… you can print it… it has a live table of contents… It’s green." The Christian Science Monitor went "online" at the beginning of 2009 as the first nationally circulated paper to do so, used the same points Ulanoff did to make clear to their reader that going digital is not a a change for the worse. Mary Trammell, Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Science Publishing Society and a member of the Christian Science Board of Directors, said, "journalism that seeks to bless humanity, not injure, and that shines light on the world’s challenges in an effort to seek solutions, is at the center of Mary Baker Eddy’s vision for the Monitor. The method of delivery and format are secondary and need to be adjusted." Going digital is also a popular choice for magazines. Nylon magazine reaches people across the world, and in order to continue with the sale of the magazine, they have included a "digital copy" subscription option. Without a bailout or a stable economy, the whole news industry may end up lost in Cyberspace.