Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Biggest Stories of 2012, the Year of No

It's been a year of "no" in this little corner of the universe -- no postal reform, no big paper merger, no more listing on the RISI Top 50, no major bankruptcies. There was even a double negative: no No Print Day.

The hot topic this year for Dead Tree Edition readers has been retirement: Nine of the 10 most-read stories dealt with efforts (or lack thereof) to downsize the U.S. Postal Service workforce by getting more employees to quit.

Here's a brief recap of the year's highs and lows:
I'm following the common practice of my industry, magazine publishing, by publishing a year's best/biggest/sexiest/etc. list before the year is even over. There's some danger in that, but I think the main events for the rest of the year are pretty predictable:
  • Dec. 21: We will survive the winter solstice.
  • Dec. 22: A publicist hired by the Mayans will announce that their calculations were only slightly off: 2012 is not the end of Time but the end of Newsweek. (Technically speaking, they will be wrong; Newsweek is not going away, it's just discontinuing its print edition. Technically speaking, Newsweek died about three years ago.)
  • Dec. 25: Millions of Americans will ooh and ah over sheets of coated freesheet paper printed with bright colors (aka Christmas wrapping paper), then promptly shred it with their bare hands. Some of it will get recycled.
  • Dec. 31: Despite widespread agreement that 2012 was the year the Postal Service's financial situation needed to be addressed, Congress will go home having done nothing about USPS -- except for taking the heroic step of naming more post offices.

No comments: