Two articles today suggest how tough it’s becoming to turn a buck in the print media world. Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine and founder of eWeek, notes in “Whither Mags”, that major print efforts require a huge capital outlay before they can even hope to be profitable, and that the current high risk associated with print publications means we probably won’t see nearly as many new big magazine efforts.
Even more ominous is the New York Times report today showing circulation declines almost across the board for US Newspapers. The NYT Article “More Readers Trading Newspapers for Websites” has a great graphic showing how circulation has fallen at most newspapers since last year with an average drop of 2.4%. Given the relatively thin profit margins at many papers and the fact many costs are fixed this does not bode well at all for the future of newspapers. The future of news? That is a far more complex question and I think the answer is not knowable at this time. Blogs are picking up some of the journalistic slack, but I’m not convinced they can pick up all of it.