Have you ever heard of Facebook?

As the print media gradually makes its way to online media, the issue of advertising comes to mind. Advertising has consistently, and still is, the number one source that powers print media. Advertisements are what fund the industry as well as keep it alive. If readers begin to diminish from a magazine or newspaper, advertisers will lose interest in funding for them. The print eventually has no way to continue its production and thus it either chooses to struggle or it calls it a quits. But what happens when these print sources evolve into being online based? What has happened to advertising as the Internet is expanding? Is it nearly as necessary as it was when it was being relied on by print sources?

As I was reading through some other favored blogs earlier this week, I found a story about Facebook. Facebook is interesting. The founder Mark Zuckerberg, the history, the traffic and popularity. I mean, hell, there’s a movie about it. I really good one at that. As a dedicated user personally and in the workplace- I was a marketing intern for a program at my University- I have found just how important social media is as a form of advertising. Advertising through status updates might be a way to traffic readers, but it does not take the cake. Facebook uses advertisements from big corporations to small, local businesses. Anyone can buy an ad, but there have been recent issues surrounding the advertising on Facebook.

How does Facebook exactly quote how much you pay for an advertisement? Interesting question, huh? You didn’t think about it did you? In this particular story, Paul Bradshaw noticed the advertisement through “pay per click” went up 800% in a over a week. If this makes you curious just like it made me curious, you’ll be pleased to hear that it also made Bradshaw curious. Him and his ad campaign decided to literally sit down next to each other and make an identical Facebook ad. Toward the end, the quote was drastically different. The previous profile was quoted 11 times higher than the new, but identical profile. But why?

My theory simply stemmed from the traffic the actual profile has already received. Bradshaw has attempted to get in touch with Facebook, but has had no luck.

Moreover, Facebook ads continue to leave people questioning the motives and morals behind the company. Just last week, an issue regarding the “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” involving advertisements began to perk users ears. To put it simply, Facebook has began to use your personal profile picture to target ad campaigns. What’s this mean? Your profile picture and name will show up saying you’ve liked a specific brand or company on Facebook. This will be shown to your friends to further advertising and, in turn, get more clicks on the advertisement. What do you get out of this? Nothing.

Now is this invading your privacy? Is this unfair that you are basically advertising against your own will and receiving absolutely nothing for it? When put that way, it does make me question what I could be getting out of this. Aside from that, I see the issue as small. If a user chooses to “like” a specific brand because, well, they like that brand, then what’s the harm in that popping up on your friend’s, let me emphasize “friend” and not “stranger” or “random profile”, newsfeed? You don’t intentionally like a page because it is private. Any one of your friends can already see that activity. Facebook is simply using that information as a form of intelligent advertising. Go Facebook, again.

Reg Chua digs deeper into the advertising on Facebook. Chua simply elaborates on the growth of advertising on Facebook. Where advertising used to flourish within news sources or content sources like magazines, it is now moving to places like social media. Why? Because literally almost everyone has a Facebook profile. A larger audience is what makes advertising flourish. Chua brings up a great issue that news sources are going to need to find another source of revenue.

This statement really made me question the future of journalism, yet again. Advertising is still necessary in the journalism world, but the Internet is influencing it to be used in other ways. Even if readers are moving toward getting his or her news from online sources, will advertisements continue to provide as much for this form as they did for print sources? Will revenue for a site still be low and, in turn, have a difficult time funding its writers as well as itself? I sure hope not.

Can there be a hot trend and a not-so-hot trend at the same time?

The more I read through blogs and articles on topics regarding the future of the print industry, the more I realize in order to visualize it, I must see the trends. I’ve found a great sense of understanding through the use of charts. After reading through some blogs and seeing straight-forward charts basically saying, “Hey look who’s down again, and look who’s the same and Oh wow, they’re not looking too hot…” I started to realize  that I wasn’t seeing the larger trends. Trends over a longer period of time.

Newspaper Circulation trends from 1990 to 2010.

Newspaper Circulation trends from 1990 to 2010. Taken from The Awl.

As you can see, the trend of decline is still prevalent, and it is happening faster. When I look at this, my first thought is, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not the L.A.  Times,” but my second thought is, “How smart is it to include the Wall Street Journal’s online subscribers…” After processing this concept, I started to wonder if other newspapers have increased by online subscriptions. If that’s the case, a lot of profit can be circulated, just not in the traditional way.

Even articles in 2007 were reporting on how print sales were dropping, but the online media was expanding. 2007 is a year we see a lot of drops in the chart above. Advertisers were still interested in supporting the online media because it attracts the younger readers. Younger readers are often sought out by advertisers. So what does this mean? The answer is obvious. The industry is changing, and the change is not necessarily threatening. We just have to break out of our comfortable ways and turn on our computers.

blog roll-call

The internet has made sharing ideas easier and more efficient. As a journalist, reading others’ ideas, opinions and experiences in the field are beneficial and eye-opening. Here are some I’ve found that prove to be beneficial for anyone in a similar situation.

  • (Re)structuring Journalism is a blog focusing on rethinking journalism and the business of journalism. The blog brings attention to the fact that readers are changing and, as journalists, we need to be mindful and change with them.
  • Columbia Journalism Review was founded in 1961 and continues to report on the evolution of the media business. While the blog is full of content I’d like to read for pleasure, it maintains a focus of where journalism is flourishing and what the future holds.
  • Cyber Journalist focuses on innovation in journalism and digital technology that contribute to the future of journalism. It elaborates on the transformation of the media.
  • Vadim Lavrusik is the Digital Media Futurist who focuses on social media. With experience as a Program Manager for Facebook and a teacher of social media at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he is very knowledgeable of the area. As I continue to work on my blog, I also need to learn how to effectively promote my blog through social media.
  • Eat Sleep Publish hones in on the print industry, what my blog centers around, and what the future exactly has in store for the “print” industry. Blogger, Jason Preston, interviews professionals, and he researches strategies the print industry has taken to stay afloat.
  • Marsha Ducey is JournaJunkie, who has been a print journalist for years, but is now experimenting with the world of online journalism. Relating to this woman and seeing how she has adapted to the online world as a writer is key to include in my blog.
  • Journalistics is a blog elaborating on “how-to’s” as a journalist. It expands on public relations and marketing as a journalist, something well worth my time as a blogger and journalist.
  • Writer, journalist, editor and assistant professor Nicole Kraft’s personal blog called the Kraft of Writing gives advice to those who are also writers. As a passionate writer, Kraft’s blog gives ideas that are respectable for any aspiring writer.
  • Online Journalism Blog covers a wide variety of journalism news and goes into an analysis of the stories covered. It is a blog centered around the future of each side of journalism with specific stories.
  • Publishing 2.0 focuses solely on how technology is transforming all parts of media. Though my blog focuses on print media, this blog covers print as well as others. It is important to understand the future of media as a whole in order to specialize in one area.

Is it the right time for Time?

News magazines have competition but declining popularity throughout the recent years.  Photo by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

News magazines have competition but declining popularity throughout the recent years.
Photo by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

The decline of print media stems from multiple factors that differ among different mediums. While for some prints, the decline is subtle, weekly newsweek magazines have definitely suffered for the last few years. The idea for people to read a magazine based around last week’s news is, well, old news. People are exposed to more readily available news sources. While some of these news magazines have changed to biweekly, cut positions or specific days of the week they are released, most have evolved into changing their approach of their content. See here a list of newspapers that have cut release days in order to save money and the newspaper itself.

In a The New York Times article, managing editor of Time, Richard Stengel, said, “We’re not in the business of telling people the news.” He said news is now a commodity, therefore the readers know it well before news magazines are published.

Instead of competing with immediate news sources, these magazines have expanded on feature stories and analytics rather than “breaking news”. This is to engage the readers in a more thought-provoking way rather than inform the reader of something that is different than yesterday’s news.  Like stated in the Times article from 2009 above, Newsweek has continued to steadily decline in sales shown in this chart from 2012. Time, however, remains steady.

Circulation of Newsweek vs. Time in 2012. Taken from State of the Media.

Circulation of Newsweek vs. Time in 2012. Taken from State of the Media.

The tactic of changing the content of news magazines has worked with keeping the magazines in circulation, some more than others, but the role of advertising is key to keep a magazine running. In this case, between Newsweek and Time, it has made a huge difference. Media relies on advertising to fund its existence, without it the source would fail. In 2008, both news magazines sold a third fewer ad pages than they did in 2004. Time, however, sold more at a higher prices. With more people willing to advertise in Time, the magazine has done remarkably better than other competitors. Other news magazines now have a more difficult time convincing advertisers to invest in a separate magazine with similar content. The graph below shows the decline of ads between Newsweek and Time.

Both Time and Newsweek continue to lose ad pages, but Time remains stable in 2012. Taken from State of the Media.

Both Time and Newsweek continue to lose ad pages, but Time remains stable in 2012. Taken from State of the Media.

As you can see, both suffer ad losses for a few years before Time stabilizes between 2010 and 2012.

The State of the Media elaborates on more factors regarding the readers of news magazines for as recent as 2012. The trends of these magazines are worth comparing to be able to learn what needs to change and what is necessary for news magazines’ success.

Throughout this blog, I will find more trends of different print sources and their current statistics. I will elaborate on the success or unsuccess of moving toward the internet world compared to the print form of the magazine or newspaper.

hello world

my name is Natalie Snyder, and I am here to spread my words for your eyes to see if they find a reason to stay awhile. I’m a Print Journalism student at P.I. Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University who is creeping closer to graduation and stepping out into the “real” world.

As an aspiring journalist, the future looks, well, not necessarily so “bright”. In fact, it’s more of an intimidating, foggy road. Personally, I’m not afraid to travel down the road, but I am full of uncertainty and a little hope. I have worked in various sides of journalism- photography, video, marketing, advertising, documentary and print. I truly love all sides of it, but my love keeps circling back to writing and the print media. (This is where the curveball comes in. )


I’m currently an intern in the Media Department for the Adventure WV program. Seneca Rocks, W. Va. Photo by Matthew Shreve.

Being a waitress in ones college town is sure to begin with the inevitable and haunting question, “What are you in school for?” I’m very happy with my decision in school. In fact, I can’t imagine actually committing myself to any other field. This just feels right. So, I answer in a proud tone, “Print Journalism.” Sure, the word print is maybe a little out of date and gives the assumption I’m talking strictly about newspapers, but I’m not. Print not only means the old fashioned printing press, but the whole world of writing in journalism. Newspapers and all printed material are struggling in this generation. People don’t read the newspaper at the coffee shop like they used to, but hell, how can we expect people to be living in a time warp? Things change, we advance and we depress, but rarely do things stay exactly the same. As humans, we’re built to adapt and evolve. We wouldn’t move from Florida to the North Pole and continue to wear our swimsuits and flip flops.

So here I am: not being bitter that the field I decided to dedicate myself to is changing every day. Instead, I’m embracing it and  planning on learning to adapt to it.  I will use this blog as a way to research and write about the impact internet reporting has on the future of the physical print industry. The near future may not include black and white newspapers, but the laptops, tablets and smartphones hold every type of news anyone wishes at his or her fingertips.