Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Printed News: Museum Artifacts of the Near Future?

Wazzup Pilipinas!
With the popularity of online news publications, it is surprising to see paper-printing publications still getting customers to read their magazines and newspapers.

Well, these would basically be the people who go to clinics, parlors, barber shops, and the likes - mostly waiting for their turn to get service.

Some would be at the lounge of hotels, serviced-residences, resorts, or similar establishments where  they have complimentary newspaper subscriptions.

Others would be at the so many cafes or coffee shops offering several varieties of fraps and pastries. Those are great places to hang out and enjoy free Wi-Fi while reading the latest news about our presidential candidates or showbiz celebrities.

But nothing really beats turning the pages of the printed publication when you're laid back at your favorite coffee shops, especially when there's no Internet connection. The huge tabloids are sort of inconvenient when the tables are not big enough for both your food and newspaper, but folding up the pages still seems more fun than swiping away on a tablet or smartphone.

I can take photos, instead of screenshots, of a portion of the news, using my smartphone alongside the Spinach Lasagna, Tuna in Pumpernickle bread and the newest Frap from Starbucks - minus the baby vermin I saw from the recent TV news.

I can even compare the lay-outs and content of several newspaper brands like Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Daily Tribune, Business Mirror and Business World. Having them side by side, I can see that majority of the news comes from the same press releases or events coverage. Many news are sourced out from what's trending or going viral online which is actually becoming a regular activity of these publications.

Most of the time, the most intriguing and controversial news come from social media, may it be from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the many blogs out there that covers certain niches or everything under the sun.

The one thing you should know is most of these paper publications are now given away for free in exchange of just having them around their establishments.

But why are these publication still around even though there are numerous online sources for news?

Admittedly, they've grown weak and consequently decreased the number of their print releases. For magazine, not too many have monthly releases. The most would be bi-monthly while other do it quarterly.

Publications have now setup their own online versions that also shares the same news published in their printed form. They have realized that the only way to survive is to adapt with the competition and thus they have been investing so much in enhancing our online experience.

With the affordability of affordable and powerful smartphones and tablets, everyone will be reading their news online. Just as how cameras are threatened because of the amazing enhancement in mobile photography usage, and similarly to how music streaming sites, plus radio and TV shows can now be accessed online, the only gadget left with us may be the smartphone.

Some reasons why the printed news are still here is because there are other businesses supporting their continued existence. Many companies still backs them up because of mutual benefits. To elaborate about it will take another blog article.

Why are they kept being invited to many press conferences and launches? It's because they are already monumental entities. Just as how heritage sites are being maintained and honored, these publications have been around for ages that they are just too iconic to bring down and replaced with a new structure. But who knows, some cultural sites have been torn down and replaced with a new one - that is when there are no longer political motivations keeping them up and about.

Should we be happy to know that it means no more cutting of trees for the printed form of news? Will advertisers rejoice from not having to advertise again in their expensive full page spreads? Will the publications just transfer all their people to the digital or online news department?

Web and app developers, online graphics designers, website administrators, video-editing professionals, and social media managers would be among the many jobs that will benefit from this turn of the digital century.

The trends is so amazingly taking us into a future where online content rules. It would be all up to us to embrace it warmly with a sweet kiss and a tight hug.

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