When I was at a recent informational interview at Grady Britton I posed a question that sparked an interesting discussion and, as a result, this blog entry. Doing my homework and clicking through their website I noticed over and over again the phrase “print’s not dead yet”. That got me doing some more thinking about print and whether it is still (and will remain) a viable channel of communication. A lot of people are quick to dismiss it as a dying medium, but I disagree. The following are my opinions in a nutshell. Thinking back to my college days I remember a publishing and printing class I took as a communications elective class. The class was filled with fellow students who were crazy about books. Even moreso than myself, and I consider myself a devotee, in that they also loved the smell of books (I kid you not). From this I concluded that there will always be people out there who crave the tangible nature of print, whether they love the smell or just want to be able to touch, hold, highlight, scribble in margins and dog ear its pages as they read.
Even with the advent of e-readers and online news, I feel that there is still a market for print. Those who like to clip and post newspaper and magazine articles, highlight, scribble in margins and dog ear pages? You need to actually have a tangible print version to do the first, and the rest is much easier with print. Also these electronic devices require rechargeable batteries and those need outlets to recharge. They are not as pool or beach friendly as a print version book, newspaper or magazine. Get one of the print versions slightly wet, and it is not the end of the world. Run out of battery charge, or get sand or water in an e-reader and it is never a good thing but rather a hassle. One that requires additional expenses such as batteries, repair costs, and waterproof covers. Where will people who get burnt out on the hassles and downfalls of electronic devices go? Print. Furthermore print as a communication industry technique offers a type of visual component that is different than that served up with other tactics, and can make for a more well-rounded and profitable campaign. It is also still the most affordable and the most easily accessible. Thus I believe there will always be a demand for print and, consequently, a place for print in the toolbox of the media professional.