Tuesday, February 10, 2009...4:57 pm

The slow, sad death of print #1

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A sad day for me recently with the news that one of my very first freelance titles is closing its print edition. Haymarket has decided that Promotions and Incentives mag isn’t cost effective to print and distribute any more. pandi2
I am genuinely sorry. Obviously that’s because I won’t get to write any more thrilling features about book promotions or vouchers – but also because P&I launched in the 60s and has a venerable history as a trade press title. Like many sentimentalists, I mourn the passing of old things. [Though someone who does it much better than me is my mate Peter Ashley, who writes the fine Unmitigated England blog.]
Of course, it’s still around on the web. But from the standard trade monthly team of two-and-a-few-halves (editor, senior reporter plus half an editorial assistant, part of an art editor and unclassified bits of a freelance sub), now just one person gets to write and upload material with, as far as I know, no freelance budget.
I really do understand why printed mags will go to the wall, and why the web is so much, MUCH better a vehicle for the information in the business press. But to slash the web resources to practically nothing does make me question Haymarket’s so-called web strategy.
Yes – the advertising revenue is probably a fraction of what it was in its heyday. But can you build a credible web offering with just one person uploading content?
Maybe the worry is that you can. It seems now the goal in web content is not really good, but just good enough…

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