Balanced intake makes you healthy
Newsweek, which was founded in 1933, has published its last print issue. From 2013, the American weekly news magazine only exists online. Along with Time, Newsweek had been among the most circulated news magazines in the United States, publishing four million copies a week at its heyday.
When I heard the news about Newsweek, painful memories returned. Around this time five years ago, the last issue of the feminist journal IF was published. Because of financial problems, the magazine ended its print edition. Editors thought the magazine had served its function as a feminist print publication.
IF won the Good Magazine Award and was the only women’s magazine offered in airplanes. The magazine got much praise, but it was not selling well. It was like a dish everyone says is delicious but is not willing to try. And I understood the lack of popularity.
The cover of the last issue of Newsweek is a black-and-white photograph of the old Newsweek headquarters building in New York, with the headline in red: “#LAST PRINT ISSUE.” It symbolically indicated the end of print editions, but it felt more sinister. The bold red and black cover looked more like blood on a bony body.
Online media can be accessed anywhere and anytime. It is easy to look up old articles and obtain information anytime you want. And you don’t need to flip through sections that are not interesting. The real-time news always provides up-to-date information.
Most importantly, almost all this information comes at no charge. Even I discontinued my newspaper subscription and began reading news articles online. Less than a month later, however, I began to find problems with online newspapers.
First of all, I become picky and read only what I wanted. There are loads of articles to read, so I did not want to waste time to read something that looked uninteresting. Also, news stories are uploaded very promptly, so many lack in-depth details. It is hard to ask for accountability on information as articles are updated constantly, so the reliability of information is dubious. In order to attract more “clicks,” media organizations produce more stories that arouse interest.
So I returned to print editions. Now, I subscribe to one conservative newspaper and one progressive newspaper to strike a balance. I like the warm, soft feeling of turning the pages. The biggest reason that print newspapers need to survive is accessibility to a wide range of information. When I flip the page, I get to run my eyes through different stories and titles, so I end up reading a wider variety of articles. Whether it is food or information, balanced intake makes you healthy.
*The author is a guest columnist of the JoongAng Ilbo.
By Eom Eul-soon