The State of Print Media


By: Kayleigh Mackay

Is print media dead? The short answer is no. It’s not. The long answer is… kind of? Well not so much dying as it is injured, and trying to heal, and limping a little bit, but mostly doing okay. May have lost some limbs on the way (this analogy seems to be getting away from me), but looking towards the future. Cautiously optimistic. Is in good spirits. Frankly, I don’t think print will ever really “die” (or at least that would be way too far in the future for me to even think about caring about). Online media has obviously had a huge impact on the future of printed material, but there’s still a market for print. I’m in my second year of communications and I’ve already heard this quote 276 times, but, alright, one more time for the cheap seats: “the medium is the message.” People like reading books. Actual books. People like the feeling of something tangible, and I think that will become more apparent as more things move digitally. Nostalgia is powerful and if you’re nostalgic for a Kindle that’s weird. (Okay, maybe people in the future will be nostalgic for Kindles, but that’s beside the point.) Physical copies of books are just different than online ones. And the market for that isn’t dying.

The print newspaper industry is pretty screwed though. However, a study published in 2015 by the International Journal of Communications sampled nine European countries and found that over half of the population still read print newspapers. So some people are still reading physical copies of newspapers. But the overall trend seems to be a move towards digital. Which I would argue is a good thing, but it definitely means change. The world is going through a period of immense change right now (technological and otherwise) and this is not necessarily something to fear, but no one is saying it will be easy. Should be interesting though.

Nossek, H., Adoni, H., & Nimrod, G. (2015) Is print really dying? The state of print media use in Europe. International Journal of Communications 9(2015), p. 365-385



One thought on “The State of Print Media

  1. I agree with you, that print media will never really die. There isn’t a technology that has been used that’s truly dead. I personally love the feeling of books over the feeling of a kindle, or tablet. However, even if the medium is not being used by a single nostalgic person on the entire planet, it will most definitely be memorialized in a museum. So at worse “death” for a medium is retiring.


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