A New Era for News: Newsweek Goes Out of Print

By Kersten Jaeger on January 2, 2013

Newsweek is officially out of print and it’s big news. While a few major publications have already made the switch to online, including another weekly magazine, US News & World Report, none have had the reputation – nor the impressive readership – that Newsweek boasts. The transition out of print by this news powerhouse is a huge indicator of journalism’s adaptation. Circulation has been steadily declining for newspapers, especially for Newsweek, and, in order to continue, newspapers need to adapt. For Newsweek, this means going digital.

Though this change was virtually inevitable, it will not be without its challenges. First of all, the internet offers free information. Yahoo News, Cnn.com, the Huffington Post– they’re all free. For about two years now, The Daily Beast, another free online news site, has provided Newsweek articles for free. This wasn’t a big deal, because many people were dedicated to reading the paper version anyways. However, now that print will not be available, the subscription will be for mobile devices only, and people may not want to pay since either way they are reading it online. This could deter advertisers from choosing Newsweek, and therefore could decrease revenue.

Despite these concerns, there are cost benefits to digitizing as well. Newsweek will be able to save millions of dollars in distribution and printing costs, according to a CEO of the Newsweek Daily Beast company. The monetary aspect is not the only reason for the drastic change. More than being fiscally necessary, it is a step into a new era.

Newsweek has a proud history of being full of bold risk takers. They began as a tabloid-esque paper that hardly contained credible news, but quickly rose to be a big name in the news industry. Through a cutthroat competition with Time Magazine – the other weekly magazine – they strove to be the most groundbreaking news publication they could be. Through its on-the-scene reporting during civil rights riots in the 60s to a fierce lawsuit with women employees that led to a new occupation for previously suppressed women, Newsweek has powerfully made a name for itself.

This new territory will be challenging and terrifying, but Newsweek is not about to shy away from a challenge. Tina Brown, the Editor in Chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast said it herself: “Newsweek has been many things in its storied history, but timid is not one of them.”

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