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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.

  • 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.
  • 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

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

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:01PM (#46774215) Journal

    Done right digital versions offer some advantages print cannot. Does print offer any advantage over digital beyond not needing a powered device?

    One small disadvantage: When I was a kid, I remember a HUGE stack of National Geographic magazines that stat around my grandparents' house. Many of them dated back to IIRC the 1940's and 50's, and some older still... I could sit around as a kid in the 1970's and leaf through them, no problem.

    Would we be able to, 30-40 years hence, be able to even open some of these digital mags without paying (again) for the privilege of doing so? What if the website dies off? What if archive.org didn't, well, archive it?

    Paper may be inefficient at many things, but even magazine publishers that died off a long-assed time ago likely still have one or two copies of their editions floating around somewhere (even if it's sitting in a flea market or antique store...)

  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:13PM (#46774327)

    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 follow is massive embarrassment if you get it wrong. A blog on the other hand can be edited, patched and fixed quite easily. The same thing happens...the quality goes right down.

    I still see print as being a higher standard and a higher quality. Heck, even the BIOS setup screens of some PCs contain some raging typos and Engrish. That code is on flash ROM and we still believe we don't need to fix it. Or we don't believe we need to fix it yet. Or ever.

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

    by Panoptes (1041206) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:21PM (#46774391)
    Old magazines are a complete sense experience. The brittle feel of the paper, the colour as it browns towards the edges of the pages, the (by now) quaint font and layout conventions, the style of language and changes in structure and word usage, idioms and expressions that are no longer current or fashionable; the smell of the paper, the tactile quality of the old covers and binding, the faint noise of opening a long-closed magazine. It's an aesthetic experience that gives the publication a sense of history, a view of another time.
  • Re:The Economist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRealSteveDallas (2505582) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:56PM (#46774693)
    It's also not so easy to put a revision on history when it's in physical copy to be referred to whenever needed. When all your historical documents are digital... how long before it's really possible to claim "Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia"? That would be doubleplus ungood.
  • by stox (131684) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @08:31PM (#46775493) Homepage

    Of course it is Liberal, anything having to do with facts or science is Liberal these days.

  • 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.

  • by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:30PM (#46775855) Homepage
    Yup. Scientific American.
  • Re:The Economist (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @10:16PM (#46776085)

    You can barely find stuff from 5 years ago on the web. Some stuff yes, but most of it vanishes or becomes very difficult to locate using modern search tools which are oriented towards serving up ads and hits for what's popular and current.

    Google seems to be getting worse as time progresses. Back when Google was just coming around (early '00), and Altavista was dominant, to search for ALL words (Boolean AND) in a query: +you +had +to +put +a +plus +in +front +of +everything or else it assumed a Boolean OR.

    Google assumed you wanted Boolean AND.

    Now in Google "+you" "+need" "+quotes" "+and" "+plus" for Boolean AND, or else it will search Boolean OR/ALL_SYNONYMS.

    I'm also getting kinda sad because useful Usenet discussion is vanishing. My city used to have a reasonably active Usenet group. It is now a wasteland, and there's no good Forum replacements. And of what forums there are (for any and all subjects), Archive.org or otherwise don't archive them as well as old Usenet discussions are on Deja / Google Groups.

  • 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?

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