This article was initially published in The Writers’ College Times.
“Is there a future for newspapers?” “Can the magazine industry survive?” “Is print journalism dead?” For two decades, these headlines have been popping up in the news. It’s true that, with the ongoing digital tsunami, many newspapers and magazines will continue to decline in circulation and some have had to shut down, but predicting their total demise is an exaggeration that ignores many factors: the different markets they cater to, the demands of their target audiences, and, most importantly, how they adapt to new technologies. Here are the top five trends that prove that print media is capable of successfully evolving.
Image via zmags.com
1. Graphic design: You almost forget it’s not a web page
From its inception, web design tried to duplicate the experience of reading printed paper, which is evident in words like “web page,” “browsing” and “bookmarks.” Web design matured over the years and became an art form in its own right. Today, graphic designers and illustrators in the print industry are aware that the majority of readers spend much of their time immersed in things digital. So recently, in an ironic twist, their work has … Read More
“Your friend will die,” said the native Congolese man in his best English translation of what the medicine man had just said. He delivered the news to Arthur and Joseph at the foot of the bed where Henry was lying asleep. Shock and horror overwhelmed them. It was 1887, and the three British friends were in the middle of Africa, far from civilization. The local medicine man was their last resort. Their friend had been deteriorating day after day, gradually losing all his strength and sleeping almost all the time. Arthur felt guilty and second-guessed the collective decision to reject their ancestors’’ traditional coming-of-age journey across Europe and instead take their “grand tour” in Africa. After exploring central Africa for six months, they settled in a cabin by the Congo River.
One serene day, Henry went for a walk in the bush. After some time, his friends heard loud knocking on the cabin door, and opened it to see him panting, carrying his shirt in his left hand. He had bite marks all over his shoulders, arms and back. “What happened to you?” Joseph asked. “I just saw it – the Tsetse fly. Remember the fly that was mentioned in … Read More
If you heard a story about someone who never met his girlfriend but eagerly “connects” with her everyday and hopes to meet her one day in real life, you might think it’s one of those typical relationships that form on the Internet. You wouldn’t think that it could be an 1899 ragtime song (“Hello! Ma Baby”), which was also the first to mention the then-recent invention of the telephone.
“Hello! Ma Baby” (song and lyrics below) is a reminder that, in many ways, the world, after more than a hundred years, hasn’t changed that much, even in the realm of technologically-facilitated relationships. After all, online relationships still mainly rely on the telephone network, like everything else you access on the Internet.
Today, you don’t have to wait for a telephone exchange (“Central”) to connect, however those manually-operated switches were probably more efficient than our ISPs – at least you talk to humans (“switchboard operators”). Not only that, but also with those locally-known operators, you occasionally would’ve been able to have a talk about your latest “online” fling.
Hello! Ma Baby
Lyrics and Music by Ida Emerson and Joseph E. Howard (1899)
I’ve got a little baby, but she’s
… Read More
Find any book on the history of science and as you browse chapters narrating scientific progress in the 17th century, you’ll learn that Galileo, in 1609, was the first person to point a telescope at the heavens, enabling him to prove beyond any doubt that the Sun, not the Earth, was the centre of the Solar System. You’ll also learn that the telescope was one of the earliest inventions to result in the revolutionising of science, a process that would forever change the human perspective on the Universe. But you most probably will not find mention of the views of those who strongly opposed the use ofsuch instrument. Naked-eye astronomers, whose ancient method of star gazing was fast becoming obsolete with the advent of telescopes, were not the only ones who were troubled. Galileo’s discoveries brought the telescope, and for that matter, scientific instruments in general, to the centre of a philosophical debate around the relationship between humans and nature.
Art by Ben Goossens
First, philosophers worried that recently invented optical instruments, like telescopes and microscopes, separate us from nature: while they enable us to see more, they deprive us of a natural sensory experience, intervening between us and the … Read More
Dan R. wrote an intriguing post on the evolution of the web, from 1997 to 2013, titled “A Visual History Of The Web Told Through Webby Winners.” On April 2, 2013, it was was published on ReadWrite, one of the most popular technology blogs in the world. He knew it would arouse interest. It did. That must’ve been apparent from how it trended on social networks. He waited for feedback at the bottom of the page from the throngs of readers. But the expected barrage of comments never happened. He was fed up and a few days later commented on his own work, implicitly reprimanding his readers, saying: “Surprised nobody has commented. I was expecting, at least, a “oh man, the Web was soooo slow in 1997.”
Art by Sarolta Bán
His readers were not totally heartless. They sympathized with him and upvoted his comment a whopping three times (upvotes in a blog comment service are the equivalent of the iconic Facebook Thumbs-up). Nevertheless, nobody cared to leave a response. It would take two full months before someone wrote this four-worded overenthusiastic comment: “Geocities. I remember Geocities.”
Dan is not the only blogger to ever wonder why … Read More
Cyber Gallery Masterpiece #1: George Jung website
Cyber Gallery Masterpiece #2: well+done website
Cyber Gallery Masterpiece #3: Coilhouse website
Cyber Gallery Masterpiece #4: Unfold website
… Read More
To you, spring might mean beach walks and sleeping with the windows open. But right now, on the first day of spring, I can’t get the thought of polluted air and toxic exhaust fumes out of my mind. To you, spring might mean sunny weather and picnics, but to me it’s an omnipresent threat of skin cancer. To you, spring might mean flowers in bloom, but I ask myself whether their early flowering is irrefutable evidence that our planet is warming and that humanity is facing extinction.
Image from 1x.com
To you, Sping might mean jandal weather, but I can’t forget a recent health warning about how jandals could cause tiny cracks to the bones of my feet. To you, spring might mean BBQs, but I know better than to eat grilled meat, which is coated with char marks that contain carcinogens which increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. To you,spring might mean birdsong but I wonder whether they carry the bird flu virus that could make a comeback to wipe out half of the human population. To you, spring might mean families outdoors, but the homeless people come out too, some of whom are deranged, or diseased, or both! … Read More