As noted earlier, Newsweek is to cease publication as a print magazine, effective by the beginning of 2013, and will then become a digital-only publication available on Kindle, iPad, and the like. The success of this model as a saviour of the magazine has yet to be determined, but as Tina Brown noted in a statement to The New York Times with regard to the decline of print, “You can not actually change an era of enormous disruptive innovation. No one single person can reverse that trend.”
More from that Times piece:
The all-digital version of the magazine will be called Newsweek Global and operate on a paid subscription model. The name Newsweek, in spite of its trouble in print, still has value in terms of international licensing, as well as several conferences Ms. Brown has created.
Readers and media analysts have been puzzled by some of the covers Ms. Brown had chosen in an effort to distinguish Newsweek from other magazines and make it a talked-about publication again. Last November, she featured a cover story about sex addiction, and in May President Obama was shown wearing a rainbow-colored halo with a headline that read ”The First Gay President.”
But Ms. Brown defends her choice of covers.
“The magazine was incredibly moribund when we came in,” she said in a phone interview Thursday. “It had taken so many knocks. We have been able to bring Newsweek back to relevance. I have always felt that the covers are about a conversation. The covers become a conversation starter.”
My hope is that Newsweek does indeed succeed — though I have my doubts — has a tablet mag, not just because Newsweek remains a good magazine (I have written for The Daily Beast, the online arm, if you will), but because its success or failure may determine what future there is for quality, long-form journalism in the digital age. Another digital outfit of an entirely different sort, Buzzfeed, has compiled a selection of Newsweek covers from down the years, by way of remembrances of things past.