Comics and publishing

Today’s Non Sequitur:
non-sequitur-042009

Today’s Pearls Before Swine:
pearlsbfswine-042009
(Click to enlarge)

First, I was struck that two comics, on the same day, both making the same point: Newspapers are dumb (perhaps book publishers, too) to give away their content for free.

Second, that point (aside from not being funny, either time) is such an old, worn out, answer!

Some well-known facts:

  1. Information, especially news, needs to be on the internet; that’s where people look. (Newspaper readership is down, down, down.)
  2. People don’t like paying for internet content; that model doesn’t work.
  3. Resisting or just ignoring change doesn’t make things stay the same.

Instead of rehashing statements older than yesterday’s news, read this forward-thinking look at the publishing revolution for some hope of a positive solution. (I offered some brief commentary on the piece last month.)

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5 responses to “Comics and publishing

  1. I thought the Non Sequitor strip missed the point to a degree. Yes, papers are offering free content online, but the websites can be ad supported. I understand that even with the ads the papers are losing millions; just that the strip seemed to avoid a potentially new business model . . .

    . . . one that may or may NOT be realistic, but is still out there.

    • Yes. Both comics avoid any potential new business models, which is at least part of my point above. They’re just reiterating the old-school “model” that’s been in place and that is currently failing.

  2. I’m not sad that newspapers are dying. I mean, really, they’re wasting a lot of trees (and I wouldn’t consider myself a conservationist) printing old news. They’ve got to find their niche in an alternative news world.

    • I agree. Newspapers must stop considering their distribution method their product. If journalism (in the true sense of the word) dies, however, that hurts us all.

  3. I find this especially interesting given that our local paper almost cut out 50% of its comic strips a couple months ago in order to cut costs. (Readers protested and they ended up changing their minds). Comic strip artists are hardly neutral observers here–they definitely have a stake in the whole paid-subscription model.

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