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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left? 285

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-the-crap-in-my-mailbox-every-day dept.
guises writes: "A recent story discussing the cover of Byte Magazine reminded me of just how much we've lost with the death of print media. The Internet isn't what took down Byte, but a lot of other really excellent publications have fallen by the wayside as a result of the shift away from the printed page. We're not quite there yet, though. There seem to still be some holdouts, so I'm asking Slashdot: what magazines (or zines, or newsletters, or newspapers) are still hanging around that are worth subscribing to?"
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

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  • The Economist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:39PM (#46773943) Homepage

    The Economist. Still worth reading.

    • by ADRA (37398)

      Yup, pretty much that and nothing else really. Long live the new flesh!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by icebike (68054)

        Dono If I believe that.

        The Economist has always had a penchant for saying very little with the largest number of words.

        If you sit down and try to outline one of their major articles, as I recently did, you will see how few points they actually try to make and the inordinate burden they imposed on the reader while making them. And its not like they provide quality supporting documentation to justify their points. Often they simply trout out half truths and over simplifications in point after point of seemi

        • Often they simply trout out half truths and over simplifications in point after point of seemingly endless paragraphs of supporting verbiage which provide little enlightenment.

          Well, to be fair, it is economics. Not sure what else they could do.

          • by icebike (68054)

            Not as much as it once was.
            Go surf their site, they cover a wide wide variety of topics.

        • Re:The Economist (Score:5, Insightful)

          by petes_PoV (912422) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @03:51AM (#46777171)

          The Economist has always had a penchant for saying very little with the largest number of words.

          I find that the Economist has a very high information density. Not just in its headline topic but in many other areas of journalism, too.

          As for "half-truths and over simplifications", that's not my experience. Maybe you just don't understand a lot of the rather complex concepts and language that their professional and technically proficient writers use?

    • I'm sorry, and maybe this is just an American bias, but the writing style of the Economist is highly irritating. I finish reading a third of it, and I feel like I've just been given a lecture. Then I toss it in the recycling.
    • If you're citing The Economist, I'd suggest adding the Financial Times - for a lot of the same reasons.

      Any newspaper that doesn NOT carry a horoscope and limits sports coverage to a single page (2, tops) must have a sensible set of priorities. In addition it takes the reaslistic view that pretty much everything of importance has a business or financial driver or consequence (though it does cover natural disasters and upheaval in non-financial terms, usually with a much more level-headed and unsensationalis

  • by jmd (14060) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:39PM (#46773953)

    funnytimes.com

    All I need.

  • National Geographic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:43PM (#46773985)

    Very good photography, good enough writing.

  • Who Cares? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by NReitzel (77941)

    Good print media?

    Really. Local newspaper provides enough to wrap up stuff to ship, and a few sheets to use to light charcoal.

    Other than that, who cares?

    • by reboot246 (623534)
      My local newspaper is down to printing only three days a week. Not too many years ago they printed two editions per day seven days a week. I subscribe to just the Sunday edition, but that's just to get the ads and the sports columns.
      • Our local Syracuse paper was bought up by the same folks who are running the Times-Picayune into the ground. We used to have two daily papers (certainly don't need that now), but are left with a non-daily paper that is primarily AP wire and NY Times stories.

        What I would like is to see Syracuse University buy the paper, use the press to print a daily for both the university and the city (keeping with the Town & Gown movement). The paper could be the Journalism department and also be an outlet for the bus

  • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:44PM (#46774003)

    They haven't started making digital toilet paper yet.

  • Your local newspaper (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nowhere else will you find detailed reporting regarding events and issues that may actually impact your life. Some have said that social media will kill local newspapers but I find that real news is still better covered by a reporter than by hearsay on my Facebook wall. Local reporters work hard to produce a paper every day (or every week, depending on your community), the least we can do is subscribe to their publication to help foot the bill of good reporting.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Here in Australia, my experience is that the genuinely local newspapers (limited to specific suburbs or council areas and usually available for free every week) are great as a way of finding out whats going on in the local area. The normal daily newspapers are full of crap and not worth reading.

  • I like my tech magazines and news digital. I like my Muscle & Fitness and Popular Science in print. It's personal preference really.

  • Make Magazine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob Riggs (6418) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:47PM (#46774027) Homepage Journal
    Lots of good stuff. Byte could have morphed itself into this magazine.
    • by Shadyman (939863)
      +1 for Make
    • by rijrunner (263757)

      The thing is, Byte, Datamation, and a few others quit being really must read for techs long before the Internet really hit.

      In the IT field back in the late 80's through about 2000, the scariest thing to see would be an executive with a glossy magazine..

  • Paecon (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blahplusplus (757119)

    You won't get the US centric perspective that you get from the economist.

    http://www.paecon.net/ [paecon.net]

    • by Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:08PM (#46774279)

      . . . the last time I checked, the Economist was not a US publication. Does the BBC World News have a, "US centric perspective," too?

    • You won't get the US centric perspective that you get from the economist.

      I am an American and only 2 American print magazines come as close as The Economist does to my pov. Those are Reason magazine [reason.com] and Liberty magazine [libertyunbound.com].

      Falcon Wolf

  • TFA has it all wrong from the start.

    The problem is, from a cybernetic perspective, the internet is just words, pictures and video at the presentation layer...

    **its not inherently different** The **channel** for the information is different, but it's the same type of information

    both a print & digital news requires a *reporter* and *editor*

    a blog can never be the "paper of record"...it has to be an institutional entity with accountability

    yes, of course the transition to digital formats was **mismanaged** by the non-journalism side of most news operations, but that is because the businesspeople made the same mistake TFA makes...thinking a digital news story is somehow inherently different b/c the channel is different

    • by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:12PM (#46774315)
      Your point is only true in theory, but not in fact. Because of how it evolved, the Internet broke the culture of willingness to pay for journalism. This has turned out to have some bad consequences - namely a decline in quality, and the dominance of ad-supported information, and unthinking acceptance of the ad-supported press.
      • the Internet broke the culture of willingness to pay for journalism

        Right effect wrong cause...blame the business side. I saw this happen firsthand as a web editor in Colorado, but it's not "the internet" that broke...it was narrow-minded business people in the administration that refused to adapt their concept of ad revenue

        It's a narrow, non-tech MBA-style business approach that did this

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The channel can make all the difference. Remember when software distribution and patching was done with floppy disks? When bugs were hard to patch you're damn right there were fewer bugs. Now software distribution is fast and patching is easy. This didn't make software more reliable, it just made it more buggy. It's just like Jevons Paradox.

      With print media you have lots of eyes looking at the quality of the final printed page because, let's face it, once it goes out of the door the only thing that can foll

      • right, there are "differences" because, inherently, the channel is different, but it doesn't affect the content...journalism is still journalism

        there are myriad benefits to using the internet in the newsroom...the CMS's they have are great...very streamlined.

        digital media, as you point out, is different by scale...the resources it takes to print 100,000 newspapers is much different than the resources to make an internet article that 100,000 people see

        there are other obvious differences, and they matter to t

  • by SocialEngineer (673690) <invertedpanda@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:52PM (#46774089) Homepage

    Disclaimer: I've worked for 2 newspapers, and currently work for a media company (in the online division).

    Why? Because a local newspaper is going to cover more relevant info, with more details, than numerous other mediums. It's an at-your-leisure consumption device, too.

    I get the Sat. & Sun. local papers here. The Sat. for general weekend news, and the Sun. for big feature stories. Our paper frequently has some amazing local content; I recall a great 2 page spread on a local barbershop, and when one of the historic buildings burned down, they had almost daily coverage on the progress.

    Plus, it's great for information on important city council stuff. Our city has been having the Great Trash Debate for some time, and now it's finally coming to a close (trying to figure out if trash pickup should be privatized, or if they should increase the cost of trash stickers to cover rising costs of maintenance for the trucks).

    If you live in a major metro area, seek out the smaller hyper-local publications for your area.

    • by sootman (158191)

      > when one of the historic buildings burned down,
      > they had almost daily coverage on the progress.

      Wow. Must've taken a long time to burn down. :-)

  • For .Net developers:

    Code Magazine [codemag.com]
    MSDN Magazine [microsoft.com]
    DNC Magazine [dotnetcurry.com](Not a print magazine, but it is a PDF that you can print out.)

    General Computing:

    CPU Magazine (not as good as it used to be, but still not bad)
    Maximum PC

    My local bookstore carries quite a few Linux magazines imported from Great Britain.

  • The last of the general interest genre.
  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:58PM (#46774175)

    I write for and read a niche publication related to an obscure hobby of mine (related to model trains) and it actually sells very well and they still pay well for contributions. Mostly because the target audience is retirees who are of a generation that are used to and comfortable reading the printed page, and are happy to pay for it. Many of these people also supplement their subscription with online forum discussions, which has changed the nature of the magazine. The primary focus is on lengthy how-to articles that people would not normally compile for free and post online due to the time and effort involved, but are happy to put into print because they (and I) are being paid for it. Club announcements and updates and stuff are less needed thanks to online forums.

    The one thing the magazine has not done is embraced a digital version and made their archives available digitally. One magazine that has done this to great effect is Model Railroader. Rather than collect stacks of back issues, you can now get the whole set online or on discs. One of the main issues depends on what the original contract with the writers looked like. If it did not have a 'and all future media' type clause, you would have to seek individual permission from each contributor to make the back issues available digitally. That has been one of the things holding back the particular magazine I write for. I myself am all in favor of making back issues available digitally. At the very least they could sell a digital edition beginning with new issues, with a new contract for the writers that includes it.

    As far as mainstream periodicals, I occasionally like to pick up a Wall Street Journal or a New York Times when at an Airport, but 99.9% of my current news intake happens online these days. Financial Times of London is a good one, but again can be had online.

    what I do read exclusively in printed form is books. I just like them, and I like to keep the best ones for re-reading later. Mine will be among the last generation to prefer this most likely.

  • Make and WIRED are my two current print subscriptions. (W.I.R.E.D. is fantastically infuriating to type)
  • "Long read" periodicals, which rely on research or expertise are still worth reading. The Economist and Foreign Policy are tow that stick out in my mind.

    Local news may or may not be good. When national coverage dominates, you're basically getting a watered down version of last week's CNN. When local coverage dominates, at least you know there was was probably no other source for that information.

    Industry Journals probably cover esoteric topic no one else will, so those count if your are actually interested

  • What good media exists at all.

    I say none.

  • Science Magazine (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I would classify New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com) as an excellent subscription magazine. The quality of the printed pictures and graphs is a great addition to nice science articles.

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:03PM (#46774227)

    At least according to Rush.

  • by sribe (304414) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:05PM (#46774251)

    Saveur [saveur.com]

  • Two magazines I still read in print are Lucky Peach and Archaeology.
    Lucky Peach is a bit of insanity: Food travel, recipes, and steam of consciousness weirdness. Not cheap, and so far as I can tell, not all of it is available online.
    Archaeology is great because you get to see real science actually in use -- unlike the pap most newspapers post, where the big words are all left out. It does have digital subscriptions, but because most of its articles are short, I'm happy to take this into the (ahem) powder r

  • I still take home books from our local small-town library (it's an original Carnegie Library) and read them in the bathtub and on the toilet and in bed and with The Simpsons on mute in our living room.
  • by turkeydance (1266624) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:16PM (#46774355)
    it pays for itself with the first delivery. saved $8 this week. but i blew it all of it on a flash drive.
  • by colenski (552404) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:18PM (#46774377) Homepage
    The Jamaica Gleaner [jamaica-gleaner.com] has excellent writing, actually employs professional reporters and fact checkers, and keeps an NPOV. The problem is, it only covers Jamaica.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:23PM (#46774413)
    There's a digital edition too, but I presume that doesn't exclude the print edition, or your list will be empty.
  • Excellent, sometimes stunning, photography. Thought-provoking, impartial and balanced writing that prompts you to ask questions instead of telling you what to think.
  • by Sir Holo (531007) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:32PM (#46774495)
    The Economist
    Harper's Magazine
    The Atlantic
    Lapham's Quarterly
    Foreign Affairs
  • http://www.funnytimes.com/ [funnytimes.com]

    They're sometimes too far radically left leaning but still lots of good stuff. At least they're funny (most of the) times. :)

  • Here is my current list:

    Analog
    The New Yorker
    American Rifleman
    Shotgun News
    Practical Sailor
    Cruising World
    Good Old Boat

    Shortest of these subscriptions ? 7 years
    Longest ? 25 years (Analog)
    Do they have websites ? Sure, but the print media is what I seriously read.

    • American Rifleman is fairly entertaining for a bathroom read. I know you can (or at least as a life member, I can..) get one of other NRA mags instead of AR. I keep thinking the women's version might be interesting, at least as a sociological amusement, and perhaps something to leave at the Pediatrician's office to keep 'em guessing.

  • by bshell (848277) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:47PM (#46774611)
    The New Yorker website is quite good, but many of their articles can only be found in the real print magazine. They don't appear online. Plus, there's something *better* about the print version of the New Yorker with its classic very readable three column layout, its well designed typeface, inimitable New Yorker cartoons sprinkled about each issue, and even the tiny little illustrations that dot the articles and follow some clever theme in each issue. I know there's an iPad/Tablet version of the New Yorker (which I have never read) but the print magazine is still pretty nice. And I have not even mentioned the expensive ads.
    • by mako1138 (837520)

      Yeah, I would find it hard to give up the print edition. A physical subscription includes access to the digital archive, which is nice.

  • Check out the Fortean Times [forteantimes.com]. "The world of strange phenomena"
  • One thing I've noticed is that any print magazine you may want can be downloaded from your favourite torrent site in just a few seconds. e.g. here are the latest issues of some popular ones... http://kickass.to/national-geo... [kickass.to] http://kickass.to/the-economis... [kickass.to] http://kickass.to/scientific-a... [kickass.to] and of course http://kickass.to/penthouse-us... [kickass.to] These are pdf files of only a few tens of megabytes and with hundreds sharing new issues hot off the press, they appear almost instantly on your computer. With this go
  • They have good, in depth coverage of current topics. For example, they were one of the first mainstream publications to give accurate, factual coverage of the financial crisis while it was unfolding. Their contributors write well and their editors are top notch. There are usually one to two articles worth reading every month, each about five pages.

  • QST comes with membership in the ARRL but can also be found in some radio and electronics stores. QEX cost extra but is worth it if you are really deep into building your own stuff. Nuts and Volts is pretty good too. There are electronic versions of these three but I'll only pay for the printed version. If they go electronic only I won't renew my subscription.
  • It covers a wide variety of technical topics with quite a bit of depth. I get it by default by being an IEEE member. However, it seems that you can subscribe directly too [sunbeltfs.com].

  • A little crazy is a good thing.
  • I loved the ads (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:05PM (#46775725)

    Why is it that the ads in mags like Byte were a key part of the reason I bought the magazine -- but banners and online ads have become little more than annoyance and irritation?

    The old print-media ads were informative and didn't slow down my reading in anyway so I guess they were excellent "secondary" content.

    There's no way I'll patronize any site that uses full-page interstitial advertising -- yet the full-page ads in Byte and other printed mags were things I often read from start to finish.

    Is it just me or have others had the same experience?

  • The Guardian Weekly (Score:4, Informative)

    by tick-tock-atona (1145909) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:09PM (#46775743)

    You know, the organisation that worked with Snowden to reveal government overreach to the world? The one whose journalists just won a Pulitzer?

    The weekly edition [myguardianweekly.co.uk] is delivered worldwide. The condensed format is great for catching up on what's happening beyond the boundaries of Murdouche's empire..

    This kinda sounds like an advertisement, but it's really not. It's just that print news media here in Australia ranges from mediocre to outright political propaganda. The Guardian is my lifeline on sanity in this environment.

  • The Atlantic Monthly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:18PM (#46775789) Homepage Journal
    Published "As We May Think" soon after WWII, today is "web first" and quite timely. Perhaps a bit fluffier than it once was, but still doesn't care what you think, but cares desperately that you do think.
  • And any other graphic novel/ comic book like thing out there. There's some flow to graphic novels that I've never really seen done well on a computer.

    I think Photography magazines are still better in print that digital. What the picture looks like printed out is always different than what it looks like in a digital format.

    I'd also suggest Mad Magazine. You just can't fold a tablet the same way you can the back page.

  • by cshay (79326) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:23PM (#46775811)

    All of those are a pleasure to read.

    I knew some people would call out the Economist, and I used to subscribe to it some years back - but unfortunately they dumbed it down quite a bit several years ago in a push to increase their subscription base... and it looks like they succeeded.

  • Le Monde Diplomatique [monde-diplomatique.fr] has many international editions [monde-diplomatique.fr], including in english [mondediplo.com]
  • by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:30PM (#46775855) Homepage
    Yup. Scientific American.
  • by _Ludwig (86077) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:48PM (#46775929) Journal

    Harper’s [harpers.org] (not to be confused with Harper’s Bazaar, which is an especially boring fashion magazine,) The Believer, [believermag.com] and The Baffler [thebaffler.com] all have good literary and art coverage as well as long-form lefty political journalism. The New Yorker [newyorker.com] is good too, and not as New York City centric as you might think, aside from the theater/music/event listings, but it’s weekly, so kinda expensive and easy to fall behind on. There’s some good stuff in Rolling Stone and Playboy from time to time but I wouldn’t keep either one on the coffee table where people could see them.

  • The Economist has many short articles that make for awesome bathroom reading, plus longer in depth articles. The same with the New Scientist. Both are also weekly magazines so it is a non stop firehose of up to date information that doesn't involve, cyrus, the kardashians, or whats his bieber.

    I once loved Scientific American but then they became as crappy and unrealistic as Popular Mechanics for a number of years, then they became more serious but way too much psychology 101 crap about the brain. It is S
  • I love The Week [theweek.com]. It's a reasonably objective collection of the best news articles/opinions each week. Each Sunday, I sit down with a cup of coffee for a half hour and get a broad overview of what happened in the world that week, and what people said about it.

    It's basically a printed new aggregator, showing only the most insightful and informative opinions (from all sides) each week -- the exact opposite of the Internet news I consume daily.

  • by bayankaran (446245) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @12:32AM (#46776601) Homepage
    Internet is yet to obliterate Asian - especially Indian -magazines.
    Caravan - http://www.caravanmagazine.in/ [caravanmagazine.in]
    Open - http://www.openthemagazine.com... [openthemagazine.com]
    The above two are new ventures, here are some older ones...
    India Today - http://indiatoday.intoday.in/ [intoday.in]
    Frontline - http://www.frontline.in/ [frontline.in]
    And no one has mentioned New Yorker - probably the best over the years.
  • by damnbunni (1215350) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @03:48AM (#46777157) Journal

    I still read Mad Magazine.

    It's changed some since I first discovered it (and guffawed at it) decades ago, but it still has some pretty good writing and I get enough chuckles out of it to justify the sub.

    The problem with Mad is that Mad will never be as funny as it was when you first discovered it - and it doesn't matter when that was. To me the funniest Mad articles are from the '80s. My Dad read it in the '60s, and thinks those are the best years. I have the whole run on DVD, and the '60s stuff doesn't strike me as funny as the '80s stuff.

    The other problem with Mad is that pop culture has become self-parodying, which makes the parodist's job much more difficult.

    (Mad isn't a news publication. But the question didn't specify that the periodicals be USEFUL, just worth reading!)

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