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Print Is King, Blogging a Prince

Print Is King, Blogging a Prince

When I was a Media Studies undergrad in the late 90s, I vividly remember assembling clip packets. These were photocopied bundles of my best written work that were shipped off to print media. The goal was to get paid assignments or a full-time job.

Years later, as I made the transition from print media to digital media, physical clip packets evolved into e-mails and links. Not only was it a time saver, but I saved money on envelopes and postage too.

Through the years I picked up more blogging gigs and the world was grand. Who needed newspapers and magazines anyway. The writing seemed to be on the wall: Print was a dying relic, the future of the Web bright. That still might be the case. But suddenly I have the urge to take a step “backwards” and concentrate on scoring more print gigs. Hmmm.

One reason might be purely ego-driven. The printed word, whether on life support or not, gets greater respect in the court of public opinion – even when it comes to young folks. I know this because I will often “sell” myself in different ways to gauge people’s reaction. For example, if I walk into a party and say I’m a blogger for BlogHerald vs. saying I am regularly published in the hometown paper, the latter generates greater interest. Little do they realize that the blogs I write for are far more read than the print stuff.

Another reason that print is still king is that A LOT of people do not understand blogging. Despite the medium growing by leaps and bounds in recent history, many people still write off blogging as drivel about what you ate for lunch.

Finally, bloggers themselves look down on their own medium. Just look at how bloggers flaunt their print work and the story tells itself. They are proud about their blogging accomplishments — beaming over print contributions. These same bloggers also understand that anyone can blog. There are factors that might dictate a bloggers’ success that has nothing to do with their talent/skill level.

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The times are a ‘changin, annd as of this moment, print is still held in higher regard than blogging when it comes to most people. What do you think?

Here I am years later preparing an old school clip packet. Go figure!

View Comments (7)
  • Interesting point, Andrew. I feel like we hear time and time again that print is dying, yet it is still an honor to be published on paper (as opposed to just clicking the ‘publish’ button online).

    I think it all goes back to what you mentioned about people not understanding blogging. Many people still think it blogs come from people sitting in their basements, spitting out whatever information they feel like- without research, fact checking, or anything. While that stuff is out there, we ‘bloggers’ know that isn’t all of it. Blogging is work. And it can be hard work.

    I think people really need to start thinking of blogs for what they really are- content. The bottomline is I’m not a ‘blogger’, I’m a writer. Why should my article, whether posted online or printed on a piece of paper, hold any different weight?

  • Yeah, print is really King but according to recent studies the King is dying. The prince (digital media) is rising to the throne. Print media is generating its lowest revenue in recent years.
    The future of the media seems to be on the web more especially the mobile web. Anyway, the future is yet to come and no one knows the exact future. I just wonder if the print media can survive the current trend to digital world.

  • Funny you should write this now. I was just looking at the old Writer’s Market last night and quickly remembered why I gave up on print. It takes too long! You write a query (and not everyone accepts email queries). You wait a month, maybe even two or three months, sometimes more to hear something. Then you wait six months to see it in print. I prefer blogging, but you’re right about people not understanding it.

  • I’ve seen this with the magazine I publish. I can see the perception of print vs online changing in the future, but as of now Print is still King because:

    1. People understand it. It’s been around for a long time and is widely accepted as a reliable source of information.

    2. Printing requires a monetary investment (paper, ink, physical distributors, etc.) so people think it’s worth more. This also acts as a barrier to entry.

    3. People like tangible items. If you can touch it, it seems more real.

    Thanks for the discussion!

  • It is true what you said that there has been speculation that print is dying. But of course it’s an honour to have your work published, theres still that exclusive feeling you have when you see your work printed publicly. I don’t believe its the same as logging on to your blog and checking your recent posts! I still feel there is a strong future for print.

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