I’m an ardent lover of print. Despite of the ease, ubiquity, and brilliance of digital media, I still, as ever, adore the touch, feel, and look of newspapers, magazines, and books. There’s something very human about it that is charming, and moreover, as Les Hinton so eloquently wrote recently in the British Journalism Review, it is a thoroughly timeless gadget:
“If it [newspapers] were invented today, it would be the wonder of the age. Light. Totally portable. Drop it and it doesn’t break. No batteries. No reboots. Easily recycled.”
Touche Mr Dow Jones & Company; there will always be the need for ink and paper.
There’s a lot of banter online about the demise of print, which is misplaced. It’ll never happen. For me it’s about print and digital coexisting in a mutually beneficial way, which is why I am excited at what the near future possibly holds for both magazines and newspapers if the ideas touted in this video see the light of day. What makes this concept so appealing is that it retains the qualities of a print magazine whilst adding in all the cool, quirky, and interactive features we love to interact with.
It’s a direction I like. I enjoy both forms, and these days, I access traditional and digital media in a seamless and very unconscious way. I stick on the news in the morning on the TV, quickly browse the headlines on my mobile, pick up a paper before work, browse through the RSS feeds during the day, grab a couple of magazine in the afternoon, watch some more TV in the evening, sneak in a glance at the emails on my BlackBerry, before indulging in a final round up of stories on the mobile-web as I hit the sack.
The Sports Illustrated prototype sort of brings all of the above together into one sleek tablet. It’s not just about a magazine that stays static for a month, or the pain of sitting at a desk and it feeling like too much work scrolling the net. It’s about the bridge between that was missing. The concept of the tablet itself has been around for a while now, but specifically for magazines, it lacked the juice to make it figure in the publishing world. Now it does.
The magazine has a new meaning.