Friday, October 19, 2012
Newsweek Global and the Future
My dear friends,
Digital does not mean dead. Far from it. Think about the way you read these days. I know in my own case I get virtually all my news on line, and most of it on my iPad. I read books on my iPad -- and before that on my Kindle -- and in fact couldn't have begun to write my own new book without the incredible convenience of a digital library. Indeed, if I cannot get a book or a magazine on my tablet and on my phone (eye-straining experience though that may be) I feel rather resentful. And while I don't generally like to pay for things I read on my computer (not the most pleasant experience), I don't mind a reasonable price for good apps on handhelds. I'm not sure all of you feel the same way, but many, many people do, and more all the time, which is the tipping point that Tina and Barry have been talking about.
As for my future, I am not only fully employed at Newsweek & The Daily Beast, and expect to remain that way, it's likely I will be writing more rather than less. The physical limitations of paper were such that as advertising declined over the last decade the space for stories shrank dramatically. You can't really present a publication with good long-form journalism and still offer variety in an issue that only has a few dozen editorial pages. Newsweek Global will not have those physical constraints, and should be able to present a much wider, richer menu each week than has been available for years. Because we will still be producing a lot of content for our foreign-language and foreign-based Newsweek partners, I expect the "global" part of the magazine will be more important and more lively than ever. The Daily Beast, meanwhile, will be a 24/7 and minute-to-minute hot spot for breaking news and eye-catching coverage of culture, politics, business and, yes, foreign affairs.
Of course there are no certainties in this business, or just about any other business these days. But it's a good guess that a whole lot of other magazines and newspapers will try to make the transition that we have chosen. Our advantage is that our parent company, IAC, is a digital powerhouse and pioneer, which gives us a better chance of getting it right.
So, yes, wish me and Newsweek & The Daily Beast luck on this venture, but save the eulogies for now ... and for others.
All the best, Chris