Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter Speaks Up for Print

Link to March 28 Mediaweek opinion piece, "Print Is Dying ... Really? At a time when magazines are everyone's whipping boy, Graydon Carter offers evidence to the contrary".

It's along the lines of Paul Saffo's comment, "Just because a new medium arrives doesn't mean an old medium dies out. We still have writing in an age of word processing, we still have reading in an age of video. That will continue, but the nature of reading will change as it has changed all along."

Excerpt:  The fact is that people still want great, well-told tales. We see it on, where our longer articles routinely top the Most Popular list. We see it in the fact that our print circulation (both newsstand and subscriptions) is emphatically up at a time when everyone tells us it is supposed to be down.

Commercial television is six-and-a-half decades old, the magazine is nearly 300 years old, and the printing press is five-and-a-half centuries old. But the art of storytelling is millennia older than all three. So if print journalism’s business model is changing, our only move as editors is to double down on delivering what our readers have always wanted from us: compelling stories and iconic photographs. And it won’t matter if they’re read on a laptop, a cell phone, or on paper.

You could argue that the magazine is as brilliant an invention as anything Apple will come up with. We take glorious stories, combine them with arresting photography, illustration and design, along with stunning advertising images, and bundle the whole thing into a package that is inexpensive, easy to use and available almost anywhere. (We’ll even deliver it to your door.) It can be passed on afterward or recycled. And you don’t need instructions or batteries

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