Sunday, November 11, 2012

Superstorm Sandy's Seven Lessons About Print Media

Many readers in the mid-Atlantic region report a new appreciation for print media in the wake of Sandy’s mayhem. Among the observations they passed along are:
  1. The best photos are still created for print media. Iwan Baan rented a helicopter to capture the stunning image that graced the cover of New York magazine’s post-storm issue. No one goes to those kinds of lengths, or expense, to produce a photo that will only appear in digital media. 
  2. Print works just fine when the power is out. 
  3. Print’s battery doesn’t die. 
  4. If you own a printed product, you don’t need a wifi connection to access it. 
  5. This came from a New York reader: "When I awoke to what looked like a war zone Tuesday [Oct. 30], I thought I was completely cut off from the outside world – no power, no Internet, no phone, no battery-operated or hand-cranked radio (since rectified). But when I ventured outside my apartment building, I spotted a newspaper box with an amazing sight: that day’s edition of the New York Daily News. It had obviously ‘gone to bed’ too early the previous evening to have all the news of the storm, but I eagerly dug in. At that moment print was clearly the superior technology for conveying news."
  6. A New Jersey resident wrote: "We didn’t get enough rain Monday night [Oct. 29] to cause any flooding, but by the next morning most major roads were blocked by downed power lines and utility poles and practically the whole town had no electricity. The whole region was such a mess that the local daily newspaper didn’t even try to publish that day. Our street was eerily quiet most of the morning until we heard the familiar whirr of a motor. There was our letter carrier coming up the street, delivering mail as if nothing had happened. It was days before UPS and FedEx got their deliveries to our area straightened out, and my neighbor was still complaining a week after the storm about not being able to access the books and magazines she had bought for her e-reader (‘How’s that Kindle workin’ for ya now, sweetheart?’). We received several magazines by mail after the storm and never missed a mail delivery during the week the power was out. 
  7. And another Jerseyan: “Our Republican governor pointed out that we seem to be getting a 'Storm of the Century' every couple of years. NOW do you believe in global warming?” Yep, the storm should be a wake-up call that it's time to move beyond simplistic slogans like “Go green, go paperless” and “Paper is all natural” and dig in to the serious work of making our media choices more earth friendly. 
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