I finished college in 2000 with a journalism degree and started my career as a newspaper reporter just in time to hear the death rattle of print media. The smaller newspapers in Houston
are barely squeaking by but gave up on the ethics of real news for an advertorial format. The larger newspapers survive through cost cutting and monopoly of markets. After all, it's still required by the government
to advertise public meetings and such in the most distributed local newspaper.
Unfortunately most magazines, especially those serving smaller special interest groups, just don't have the advertising income
to cover printing costs anymore. Vendors and service
companies can host a web site and get search engine
optimization for pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of one print ad.
Bigger magazines like Popular Science, Car and Driver, etc. have actually been giving away free subscriptions for the past year just to keep circulation up as an enticement to advertisers. Nobody wants to pay for advertising in a magazine with no circulation.
Print media will never disappear completely, but I have a feeling in the next few years we'll see surviving magazines give up on the glossy paper and move to cheaper printing methods while focusing on interactive media for the web, Google
TV and all these iPad-type devices about to flood the market.