Print media has always been important to trade and industry. However, with the advent of advanced technologies, some are of the opinion that the developments in technology will soon make print media extinct as a necessary tool in business. Businesses have always been heavily dependent on advertising, which includes advertisements in newspapers and magazines, brochures, leaflets and billboards. Considering the habit of many people of sipping their morning coffee while reading the day’s newspaper, or curling up with a good book at night, I think that print media will still be relevant and important in the years to come.
Women, mostly the rich, who have a lot of time on their hands always refer to magazines for the latest fashion trends. These are the women who can afford to buy things; hence, they are good for business. Reaching them through print media make them possible buyers of the products being endorsed therein. Average people like workers and employees still refer to Buy and Sell tabloids for things they need or want to sell. Should print media become obsolete, business advertising will then be concentrated on the internet, vidiwalls, TV commercials, and giving out free samples or taste tests of products in supermarkets.
In a sense, businesses will be losing touch with a considerable chunk of the market – those who have formed the habit of reading newspapers and magazines and those from rural areas where using the computer is still not a daily part of people’s routine. Moreover, busy people sometimes do not even have the time to watch TV, and if they do find the time, they will definitely be watching only the news. Product exposure through TV ads would then reach only a limited part of the market. Admittedly, many people are now into using the internet for their needs, hence the print media business has been steadily declining in the past years.
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Even books and music can be downloaded through the internet. This poses a great threat to the intellectual property rights of the author or composer since the number of copies that may be reproduced will not be under control anymore. In my opinion, this will discourage a lot of good writers and composers and literature and music will have been sacrificed. In this aspect, the future generations will lose the opportunity of experiencing new literary or musical masterpieces since writing and composing will not be a viable source of income anymore.
Technology definitely has the edge over print media but it would be such a pity if it should completely take over and make print media extinct. No matter how efficient technology may be, printed materials still have their use and market. There is still a world of difference in looking at beautiful pictures of people and places in glossy magazines and seeing the same pictures on the PC monitor. The pleasure is somewhat diminished, therefore, many people would still prefer to look at magazines. On the other hand, the lifestyles of people nowadays have changed in many ways.
They are busier, and we do not have much spare time anymore (Guedda, O. , 2006), so faster and more efficient ways of getting things done are mostly preferred. Nowadays, there are aspects in our everyday life and in business wherein the computer plays a major role as the medium in production, storage, distribution and many more. Personal computers are fast becoming a necessity to many families because it can be useful in many different ways, such as data storage, communication, heavy computing, word processing, and research.
It can also provide leisure because it can be used for games, music, and chatting. Considering the fact that an increasing number of people use the computer on a regular basis for many reasons, it is safe to presume that electronic media is obviously more convenient for people who have discovered and have become more and more dependent on the benefits of technology. There are Internet-based news aggregators that provide updated news (e. g. , Yahoo news, Google news), so readers do not need to wait for the printed news the succeeding day.
In addition to online news, online magazines are now offered. One can also get the latest news from cell phones through video streaming. Because many people now go online, companies may prioritize online advertisements over printed versions due to reduced cost while maintaining a wide range of audience. Moreover, many advertising companies nowadays use the Internet as a marketing medium to take advantage of and keep up with the changing lifestyle of many people. Therefore, there is a possibility that online advertisements may soon be preferred over print advertisements.
This, of course, will drastically reduce the viability of the newspaper business. According to (Noam, E. , 2004), electronic media would be preferred over printed books in learning because of low cost and more effectiveness. Learning is more effective when many senses work simultaneously, such as vision and hearing. Education systems have also been changing, and many are deviating from the tradition. E-books have many advantages over their printed counterparts. Hundreds of e-books can be stored on one CD, which is equivalent to several shelves' worth of printed books.
Digital copies do not deteriorate over time, and may be easily accessible to many people who go online. On the other hand, bookstores sometimes run out of stock of needed books and the traditional books can be priced in a way that inhibits availability. These can be avoided in the electronic versions, which can be distributed at lower cost because printing costs are not included. On the side of the publishers, resorting to electronic media is economically viable and environment-friendly, because paper, lumber, and ink productions are eliminated.
In fact, many newspaper companies have realized the trend towards technology and have made their news available online. However, despite the advantages of electronic media over print media, completely eradicating print media and using only electronic media have several disadvantages. Electronic media fully depends on electricity to function properly, unlike printed media. Printed media are accessible without electricity and electronic devices. In the age of digital information technology, copyright laws may be violated more easily, and this poses several ethical problems (Stallman, R. , 2000).
Since electronic data can be redistributed easily while maintaining quality, copyright issues may be violated more easily. There are controversies regarding the usage of an e-book, considering many aspects such as the marketing, copyright, and definition of ownership (Doctorow, C. , 2004). Recently, Google News was ordered to stop from showing the content from some newspapers in Belgium, France, and Germany without asking their permission or paying them (Kramer, I. R. , 2006). Electronic media may defeat the main purpose because it may not be very effective in the attempt to reach as many people as possible.
Poor people have less access to computers, internet, and technology in general. Moreover, some people still prefer printed media to reading electronic media on computers or handheld devices (e. g. , PDA, e-book device) because more eyestrain can be experienced over extended reading time. Newspaper companies may realize that posting their news online would only reduce the demand for the printed newspapers, which, in turn, would also reduce the effectiveness of their print advertisements and thus reducing their profit.
However, they have to go with the trend towards new technology or be left behind. In this sense, publishing companies are in a quandary on how to balance profit with keeping abreast with global trends. Probably, their initial goal was to reach people overseas, particularly citizens who are abroad and are hungry for news at home. The problem was that their news would also be available locally because people anywhere can just go online for it. Maybe government intervention and control are needed in this regard to safeguard the viability and publishing companies.
Until now, the battle between print and electronic media still rages on. In identifying the trends that will determine the future shape of our life and our environment, more information must be gathered. However, considering the strong opposing factors presented above, it is difficult to conclude at this time whether one will eventually extinguish the other. Hence, at this point, it is better to study further on the positive and negative effects of both sides, and establish a middle ground that can serve as an appropriate compromise between the opposing sides.
That way, one media form will not harm the existence of the other. References Doctorow, C. (2004). Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books. Paper for the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference 2004. Retrieved October 3, 2006 from http://www. craphound. com/ebooksneitherenorbooks. txt Guedda, O. (February 24, 2006). Journalism Print media may face extinction in coming years, Jordanian ambassador. Morocco TIMES. Retrieved October 3, 2006 from http://www. moroccotimes. com/Paper/article. asp? idr=11&id=13098 Kramer, I. R. (September 24, 2006).
Google Belgium Waffles, Copies Copyright Court. The Legal Television Network. Retrieved October 3, 2006 from http://legalnews. tv/commentary/google_belgium_waffles_on_copyright_court_20060923. html Noam, E. (2004). Electronics and the Decline of Books: The Transformation of the Classroom. Educause. Retrieved October 3, 2006 from http://www. educause. edu/ir/library/pdf/ffp9807. pdf Stallman, R. (2000). E-books: Freedom or Copyright? The GNU philosophy pages. Retrieved October 3, 2006 from http://www. gnu. org/philosophy/ebooks. html.
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