Print is dead.
There's no doubt you've seen or heard this phrase (or some variation thereof) when it comes to newspapers and magazines. All across the country dailies, monthlies and weeklies are shutting down. Advertising revenue is in the tank. Subscribers are opting out. Everyone is going online for their news. People don't have time to read the newspaper anymore. Young people don't read anything anymore, they just text and talk. Politics have killed print. Bias has killed print. The costof printing has killed print.
Print is dead. Well ... maybe not.
It's more complex than that. Maybe it's an optimistic streak in me (or just fears about job security), but I don't so much see print as dying as it is rapidly changing. Certainly many publications are no longer with us and more will fall, but many others will survive and even thrive. The change taking place is how people are accessing and consuming information and I firmly believe that there will always be room in this equation for the printed page.
These changes have been coming for a long time but seemed to accelerate as the economy hit the skids. Even back in journalism school we heard that the Internet was going to kill the newspaper star — and this was before iPhones, Kindles and Blackberries. (I've yet to see anybody walking into the john carrying their laptop.)
So while there are still people reading daily newspapers and monthly magazines, a large portion of the population accesses its news and information via e-mail, websites, search engine homepages, smart phones, and some people (I've heard) through the Kindle. Many of these same people (myself included) also regularly read magazines and newspapers.
Which brings me to the advertisement on page 16 (page 65 in our June issue) featuring Malcolm Smith's handsome mug. Dealernews hasn't been immune to the stresses of the publishing world, but we also haven't been hiding in the corner. Recognizing these changes, we've expanded the number of ways you can get your Dealernews.
While you can still get the dealer profiles, latest research and columnist expertise from the sweet, glossy pages of our print edition, you also can receive a digital version of the magazine via e-mail subscription. Every print version of Dealernews is converted into an e-zine that is searchable, printable, browsable and eminently readable. Much like the hard-copy version, these can be archived for future reference.
For those already used to getting their information from the Internet, our website, www.dealernews.com, is live round-the-clock and is the place for breaking news, web-exclusive stories and products galore. We also post each month's digital issue online where they are archived back to March 2007. This repository includes the four Show Daily publications we produced at the 2009 Dealer Expo. Keep a close watch on our online presence because we will unveil a redesigned and expanded website later this summer.
Related to the website is the DealerNEWS ALERT e-newsletter. Subscribe to this twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) alert and you'll be the first to know about breaking industry news and the latest retail trends with links that take you directly to the stories we produce exclusively for the Web. Sign up for free at dealernews.com and you'll be getting what is essentially a powersports industry newswire service.
Since launching the alert in September 2008, we've expanded the program to include a DealerNEWS Alert specific to the V-twin industry and an alert tailored around the aftermarket parts and accessories business.
Finally, the Dealernews editors have a blog (http://dealernewsblog.com) where you can find news, opinions and lots more (mostly irreverent) information from myself, senior editors Arlo Redwine and Guido Ebert, and contributing editor Joe Delmont.