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Does print owe thanks to Brexit and Trump?

New generations have become more involved in current affairs and politics following recent events. As such, the once popular gossip magazines that feature the likes of Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber are losing popularity against political and business magazines such as Prospect and The Economist, which are seeing an unexpected boost in sales.

Print vs The Internet

Sales figures of print magazines have shown a steady year-on-year decline. Since fast speed internet became more readily available, people are taking the opportunity to browse news for free. And with the rise in digital devices, digital versions of magazines and articles are more easily accessible when out and about. If you wanted to get the latest on Taylor Swift, a quick Google search would reveal an overwhelming choice of websites to choose from. Far more information than you would get from one printed article in a magazine. But the biggest problem with too much information on the web recently is the explosion of fake news. With a lack of regulations and professional requirements to adhere to, anything can end up online. The same can’t be said for print magazines that all have reputations at stake and a desire not to get sued.

Everyone’s Getting Social

But even with the problem of fake news, celebrity print news is unlikely to make a comeback. Thanks to the dawn of social media, people get direct, real-time and reliable updates from celebrities through their Twitter and Instagram feeds. Not only does this offer news in convenient bite-sized pieces of information, it also offers the option to interact with the story through likes and comments. Delivering news this way creates much more excitement and interest than a static print article could.

Political and business figures also have a growing online presence mostly on Twitter, but their type of news, unless personal, often requires a much longer and in-depth discussion than Twitter’s 140 character limit allows. Therefore, there is still a gap for print magazines to fill, and from recent figures, they are doing it well. The latest figures from the BBC reveal:

  • Prospect - up 37.2% to 44,545
  • The Spectator - up 11.3% to 85,429
  • Private Eye - up 8.6% year on year to 249,927 per issue
  • The Economist - up 5% to 248,196

It’s undeniable that events from the last year and a half have created a stir across the world. Some news has been so shocking and unexpected that it feels almost like our news is following the plot of a reality TV show. But it’s gotten people interested in current affairs like never before. More generations are beginning to care about what’s going on in our world, and it’s a great thing. Especially for print. 

Read the BBC article - Magazines: How print is surviving the digital age

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