Forests of the World Rejoice as PC Magazine Goes Online-Only!

Mega-publisher Ziff Davis Media has informed us that it will no longer be printing it’s flagship periodical, PC Magazine. The online version will remain, they say, but the costs of printing and decrease in paper advertising just don’t add up. Ziff Davis Media says that 70-80 percent of their revenue now comes from the online site anyway. The final hardcopy edition will be the January 2009 issue.

No matter how venerable it may have been, this is good news for the ecology. The magazine’s circulation was at 1.2 MILLION copies a month in the late 1990′s, sometimes as much as 600 pages thick each. Even last year, it was still putting some 600,000 printed copies of the magazine on the shelves every month. Trees and forests everywhere will weep and rejoice!

There seems to be a sweeping trend in pulp publication mortality. Some of it is simply attributed to the age of instant information. A publication can be put online today, and any typo corrected real-time. The news is actually news, not already old news by the time it hits the stands. There’s a very strong case here for getting rid of most, if not all, physical periodical publications.

Other publications preparing to go online-only include “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,” which has been printed since 1945, “The Christian Science Monitor”, a daily publication which is going online with its weekday editions, and the Hearst Corporation’s CosmoGirl.

Some die-hards claim that print-advertising will continue to be essential to magazines, but the many publications that are online-only, some of which have never been in hardcopy form, prove otherwise. Online publications are able to support hundreds of thousands each year in budget, and continue to pay journalists a liveable wage — $30k to start, up to an average of $60,000 per year, plus benefits and perks. Seems pretty clear that pulp publications are about to be gone for good… and that’s a good thing for our planet.

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