Print media are good or not

Printerest: Print and Cons

This article was created as part of the teaching editorial team for the 2015/16 winter semester, in which WMK students created the Printerest magazine.
Seminar leaders: Cornelia Varwig and Nicolaz Groll

E-books, e-journals and e-newspapers: why are all print media being made digital? Are printed books, magazines and newspapers no longer good enough? The answer of many online proponents is, “Yes! Nobody needs print anymore! ”But how do you explain that Germans still spend over three billion euros on magazines every year? Is print maybe not as dead as is always claimed?

We have put together six reasons for and against print.

Print is dead!

1 THE COMMUNICATION IS MISSING

Today's society pushes to be able to communicate. With many providers of online magazines, users have the opportunity to express criticism, praise and change requests in comments. The networking factor is stimulated by linking to related pages and social media portals. Topics can be carried on and there is lively online communication. In print, this option turns out to be difficult. The articles are read quietly and communicated more rarely.

2 PRINT IS NOT FLEXIBLE

Once in print, it is impossible to change the content of print media. Not only can possible errors no longer be corrected, the content is also only up-to-date until the medium goes to print. On the other hand, it is easy to change the content online even after it has been published. Online media also offer the option of updating articles to bring readers up to date.

3 MORE CONTENT IN ONLINE MAGAZINES

Reading should be comfortable. In order for a magazine to be comfortable to hold, the number of pages is limited. That is why not every idea has a place in a magazine. Online magazines are not exposed to this problem. Almost all content and ideas can be published here. A big advantage, because the more topics are covered, the more readers are addressed.

4 LESS COSTS - GET MORE

Anyone who has bought a subscription will be surprised again and again by price increases. The reasons for this are the absence of advertising partners and increased printing and paper costs. Although not every article is made available for free online, the subscription fees are usually considerably cheaper than for print media.

5 IN ONE CLICK FOR INFORMATION

More and more people are using their computers instead of picking up magazines or newspapers to find out more about a particular topic. The reason is simple: convenience. Type a short keyword into the search engine and seconds later you will get what you want. While you can easily click your way through various articles on a topic online, the search for the desired topic in print media is more difficult. Once you have made your way to the nearest newspaper kiosk, you have to rummage through the tables of contents.

6 MULTIMEDIA IS NOT POSSIBLE IN PRINT

In order to offer as much entertainment as possible, online magazines use different media. For example, videos are included for illustration purposes. Tests and surveys can also be better evaluated and illustrated online. Print, on the other hand, can only serve with images and texts.

Long live print!

1 PRINT TOUCHES THE SENSES

You can touch printed magazines, you can hear the pages rustle and you can even smell the printing ink. According to a study by the University of Kassel, this has a positive effect on the reader's attention. According to this, around seven times more respondents remember printed envelopes than e-mails. Online media will never achieve this unique advantage.

2 PRINT REACHES EVERYONE

The magazines in the waiting room, the poster at the bus stop or the imprint on the ballpoint pen. Print is everywhere and is perceived consciously and unconsciously in everyday life. But it doesn't just reach us on the way, we also get books, magazines, catalogs, advertising mails and brochures delivered to our homes. According to the Federal Network Agency, Deutsche Post alone distributes 25 billion print products annually. The roughly nine billion advertising papers and daily newspapers are not even included. On average, that makes 425 print products per person per year.

3 PRINT IS SUSTAINABLE

Read the article online or buy the magazine? Today we know how important it is to keep our ecological footprint on earth as small as possible. This works better with print. The decisive factors are the high recycling rate and the fact that a newspaper can be used as often as desired and by several readers. Roughly, you can say that reading a newspaper produces around 20 percent less CO2 consumed than when reading the same article on a laptop or tablet. This value depends on many factors, such as what kind of electricity mix you get, which paper was printed on and which vehicles were used for transport.

4 PRINT MAKES BUSINESS

The economy is still decisive for the production and sale of books, magazines and newspapers. Print media bring in more money than online products: Not only through the sale of magazines, but also through advertisements. According to a study by the Central Association of the German Advertising Industry, German companies invested almost 19 billion euros in advertising in 2011. Of this, 13 billion was used for printed media.

5 PRINT IS A GROWING MARKET

Due to the long tradition and revolutionary role that print media have in history, they are firmly woven into society and the economy. The figures show that print is growing: almost 1,600 periodically appearing general-interest magazines were offered for sale in Germany in 2014. Including 133, which were only launched on the market in the same year.

6 PRINT IS RESTRICTED

What looks like a disadvantage at first glance is actually a huge advantage of print media. Anyone reading a magazine trusts this source. The job of a magazine is to select content, classify it and relate the articles to their context. This creates a diverse, reflective look at certain topics.

CONCLUSION: What does the future of print look like? Are we ready to give up print? For many, the answer is surprising: print is growing! The reason for this is simple: printed magazines are popular with people! Nevertheless, the practical use of online platforms cannot be denied. Our magazine is also represented online.

Jana-Romina Bulling and Elena Pattberg

Printerest: Print and Cons