Murky Future for Print Media

Natasha Roy, Assistant Managing Editor

With the rise of technology, finding ways to keep print journalism alive has been difficult. The circulation of weekday printed newspapers has been steadily declining since 1990, according to the Pew Research Center. Teen Vogue and Nylon each recently announced that they would end their print editions and begin solely publishing content online.

Though fear surrounds the idea of print journalism’s end, some people in the industry are still optimistic. Meryl Gordon, the director of the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute’s magazine writing program, said that while print media is struggling, she does not believe it is dying.

“As the numbers show, people still love reading good, old-fashioned, beautiful magazines,” Gordon said. “What’s interesting is a couple years ago when iPads came out, everyone was convinced print magazines would be gone.”

Indeed, numbers show that magazine audiences don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. According to the Association of Magazine Media, readership of print magazines accumulates over time, even up to 10 weeks after an issue’s publication. Additionally, the AMM reported that out of the different media platforms, including television and newspapers, magazine readership is the most balanced across multiple generations.

However, the same AMM report also noted that the total adult readership of digital magazines grew by 27 percent between 2015 and 2016. Steinhardt junior Pooja Sadhwani, who studies both Journalism and Media, Culture and Communication, said she has noticed this trend.

“I do not think that print is dying as a whole, but I do think that slowly we are turning to a more digital age, so even if written journalism isn’t shown on a hard copy form, there is a growing form of an online print journalism,” Sadhwani said.

Despite the digital route some publications are taking, Sadhwani still wants to pursue print journalism — and she isn’t alone. Data USA found that there are over two million people pursuing journalism in the United States, and that number is growing by 3.24 percent.

“I’m looking to go into print journalism because I love writing, and I think it is one of the best ways of accurately communicating information,” Sadhwani said.

However, Sadhwani and others worry about the financial downfalls of print journalism. Condé Nast, the owner of Teen Vogue, is firing approximately 80 employees as it ends the print version of the publication. The New York Times reported that Condé Nast’s revenue will lower by $100 million, so the elimination of Teen Vogue’s print edition as well as the company cutting an issue from each of its other print publications will likely lower costs.

“I think as a journalism major, hearing that print is dying is scary, seeing as that will be my future career,” Sadhwani said. “It scares me economically more than anything because [of] the amount of jobs that will die if print journalism also dies.”

Despite these concerns, Gordon is still confident in print media’s durability, saying that many places are hiring and publishing.

“Our students have had great luck in getting jobs and getting published,” Gordon said. “I believe that this medium will be around for awhile.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 6 print edition. Email Natasha Roy at [email protected].