While many thrilled fanboys eagerly await the debut of Apple’s tablet tomorrow, professionals in the print media industry are bracing for the ballyhooed arrival of what many in the business equate with certain death.
However, print media brands -- The New York Times, Hearst, Condé Nast, and Time, for example, -- may want to relax, at least a little bit. A person acquainted with the Tablet and Apple’s marketing plan, said of CEO Steve Jobs, “He believes democracy is hinged on a free press and that depends on there being a professional press."
From a journalistic standpoint, this means the old school media rags and the sleek megabrand agree on the importance of an unfettered and object press corps. And that’s important -- especially as print publications are moving online and access to information can suddenly be restricted by any number of carriers, devices, stipulations, or other meddling entities.
Despite sharing philosophical common ground, print media -- after decades of existing in complete denial -- can no longer pretend the future doesn’t belong to digital media; and, furthermore, that the future has relatively little, if any, place for print media. Apple’s Tablet, and its seismic buzz, may represent a first step in an accelerating sprint to the way we approach, experience, and digest information.
Just think of how quickly CD’s were made obsolete by digital music.
Granted, it will take some time for the Tablet device and is peers to permeate mainstream America -- and the rest of the world -- but there will come a time when buying a New York Times on the street or taking a James Patterson book to the beach will be stories in themselves… stories that will be read on digital devices.