In a tech-saturated world, we’ve all heard the expression “Print is a dying industry”.
With rapid advancements in broadcast media, consumers are spoiled for choice. The national newspaper is no longer the sole provider of information, as consumers turn to televised news channels, an endless selection of podcasts, and of course, the grand maestro of them all: the internet.
But to completely disregard the power of print in a digitally-heavy world, is not just an oversight, but a gross miscalculation. Anyone who has found comfort between the pages of a glossy magazine, or experienced the euphoria of an empty bookstore, will tell you that there is perhaps nothing more intimate than losing yourself in the print.
When we reflect on the process behind the product, there is something immensely satisfying about the print industry. The diverse people who work behind the scenes to collectively produce one product, speaks to the traditionalism we so desperately crave in modern day society.
People often forget that our “quick click” culture has resulted in hordes of people who long for something meaningful…something tangible… something that won’t disappear with the nudge of a thumb. This is where print media shines! The sentimentality of a physical book, newspaper or magazine, resting comfortably within the hands of its owner, is an experience so personal, that it doesn’t depend on likes or retweets to share its story.
That being said, one cannot praise the print industry, without crediting the innovations of digital media. Without the convenience, efficiency and accessibility of digital media, breaking-news stories would arrive in staggered intervals across the world. Without social media algorithms, our pixelated tales of love, loss and adventure would wither away into cyberspace.
Rather than viewing them as two competing forces, we should consider the unique benefits of each industry, as being complementary to one another. Print media, with its sentimental value, is supplemented by the viral nature of digital media. Our stories are told and shared by two of the world’s most powerful modes of communication. They are not threats to one another, but rather, allies intent on sharing information.
As a society, it is not our job to choose one entity over the other. It is our job to utilise the best of both industries, the traditional and the technical, to leave behind stories that will regale readers for years to come.
And so, to call print a “dying industry” is a fallacy. When united, the print and digital industry grow from strength to strength, flourishing as they evolve.
The print industry has been here before us, and it will continue long after us. From the ancient scribes who captured their lives on papyrus, to the mogul publication houses we see today, the print industry is historical proof that human beings are geared towards preservation. For as long as human beings are around, there will always be a need for print.