If you’re reading this article, then you probably know that the BC Talon has recently made the switch from paper to electronic publishing.
The editors of the BC Talon made every attempt to raise enough money through advertisements to keep printing the Talon, but we were fighting an uphill battle. The potential for revenue simply wasn’t there.
As we looked into creating a website as an alternative to printing the paper, we found that most other high schools in our area already had websites; it appeared we were behind the times with our hard copy publications. The digital trend, however, is not limited to the world of high school newspapers; you’d be hard pressed to find a national, or even local, newspaper that doesn’t have a website. Although most continue to print papers as well, more and more newspapers are going online-only.
The Capital Times, a Madison, Wisconsin newspaper was the first well-known newspaper to convert to a digital-only format back in 2009, according to CNN. The newspaper’s circulation had been continuously decreasing since its peak in 1966. In addition to cutting costs by ceasing production of print newspapers, The Capital Times also laid off staff members. Making the switch may be inevitable for even the most prominent newspapers – Time Magazine reported that The Boston Globe lost $1 million each day in 2009.
Newsweek, an iconic American news magazine that ran in print for 80 years, announced in October 2012 that it would be online-only in 2013. Between 2005 and 2012, Newsweek’s circulation decreased to about 1.5 million, half of what it was previously, according to the Wall Street Journal. Similarly, advertising dropped dramatically – advertising pages decreased 80 percent from 2005. Since Newsweek’s announcement, rumors sprung up that the Guardian, a United Kingdom-based paper, may follow suit.
It remains to be seen whether or not printed newspapers can sustain themselves in the digital age that we live in today. One thing, however, is certain: The recent online-only newspaper frenzy, spurred on by decreasing readership and loss of advertising revenue, is forever changing the way news is communicated.