Monday, October 22, 2012

The end of the Week

I was really sad this past friday when I learnt that the Australian version of The Week went bust. I had plugged it before on this blog. It provided a very nice summary of news from Australia and around the world. As a subscriber each friday I enjoyed receiving my copy and dipping into it over the weekend.

In today's issue of The Australian there was an interesting analysis in the Business section. It put the demise in the context of the general decline and decreasing financial viability of magazines. I thought the following extract concerning the decline of Newsweek and Time was quite insightful:

Steve Waterson, who was editor of Time's Australian edition for 11 years (and is now a senior editor at The Australian), believes the newsweeklies' slide gathered pace when they began to displace their traditional news coverage with more and more opinion and analysis. 
"Time used to have about 300 reporters all over the world. They were extraordinarily good at getting the news and aggregating it for readers," he says.
"But as people turned to the internet much more they looked at the costs of that reporting and realised it was a major expense.
"Newsweek in particular seemed to have the vanity to think the brand would keep readers even when the actual newsgathering had diminished.
"The thought was that the quality of their analysis would make up for the lack of hard news, but that conceit was soon overtaken by the ubiquity of analysis on the internet. If you're interested in something, you can find a hundred people giving their opinions online for free, and some of them are big names."

Vanity and hubris lead to self-deception and ultimately to failure.
A general problem in life and warning to us all.

Not sure what I will do now. Maybe buy the Weekend Australian or subscribe to the Economist. Although the latter lacks Australian news. Alternative suggestions welcome. I still enjoy hard copy...

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