Back in the USA with a Refreshed View of Print and NewspapersDecember 5, 2008
After a 10-day trip to The Netherlands, France and Lebanon I am back in the office with a more refreshed view of the future of ink on paper and anything else that surrounds it. I will be devoting this space in the next few days on some of the observations that I have witnessed first hand about the future of newspapers, news magazines and print in general.
In Lebanon, my native homeland, I am amazed at the number of dailies that are still published. Every morning I had the choice of almost 20 newspapers, yes, you read that right. In this small tiny middle eastern country newspapers are still thriving. I bought 10 papers every morning (My mom still does not understand why I waste my money on paper… She held the same view since I was eight years old). Each paper provides its readers with a distinct point of view, a deep understanding of what is going on and an explanation of how you are supposed to react to what is going on. There are the independent papers, the political party papers and the so called supported/sponsored papers. Each has its own philosophy and understanding that makes the different television channels available look like child play by comparison.
Yes, there is internet in Lebanon, and yes there is a hefty number of television stations, and yes newspapers have their web sites and on line updates, yet no one is talking about the death of print. No one is digging their own grave by digging so deep in the ground that they are surrounded by nothing but the walls they’ve just created. They studied their content, adjusted their content and some adjusted their size to meet the needs, wants and desires of their readers. Lebanon is not alone; the same is true in the other two countries I have visited. Technology is thriving, but not at the expense of print (More about that in a later blog).
Folks overseas are watching us and learning from our mistakes. My question is, when are we going to learn from their innovations in print and its content?