News is spreading fast today that after 80 years, Newsweek is shutting down its print edition. So we wanted to see what Washington journalists thought about it. Here’s what they had to say.
WTOP’s Jim Farley: “It’s sad to see a venerable publication like Newsweek end such a long print run. I think towards the end they confused their mission: were they a news organization or an opinion magazine? In any case, I hope they live on as a digital presence on iPods and smart phones.”
BuzzFeed Political Editor Ben Smith: “I wish the best for the folks working there.”
NBC Political Director Chuck Todd: “Nobody under 45 cares. What weekly in their right mind will continue in print every week? I assume all weeklies will disappear in print in the next decade. They will all become all digital.”
Raptor Strategies’ Public Affairs Consultant David Bass: “It’s sad. I weep for them, if only because print media has pretty much been my life, and I absolutely love magazines. I live for the arrival of my copies of The New Yorker, Harper’s The Atlantic, Vanity Fair and The Weekly Standard. Last time I picked up an actual copy of Newsweek? Dunno. Weeping over. And let no one characterize this as a death knell for the industry. Print publications that really know who they are will survive, thrive even. Visit a good newsstand and pickup five publications you haven’t read, or at least haven’t read in a while. Truly exciting stuff. Dead trees rule.”
Daily Caller‘s TV scribe Jeff Poor: “Wasn’t it sort of expected? The whole business model of Time and Newsweek for the last decade has been who can out shock-value each other with the most provocative cover. Other than people in dentist offices and grocery store checkout stands, I can’t see how there are any losers with the Newsweek print edition going by the wayside.”
MSNBC’s Karen Finney: “It was shocking when U.S. News & World Report made the announcement two years ago. On the one hand, it’s a sad statement of how we are moving away from the printed page. A vast number of Americans are not online and don’t have access to going online. When I first started in politics, they were very important sources of information for people. Part of what I’m concerned about, the internet is supposed to open everything up. In some ways, it means a smaller number of people will have access to information and what is reported in a news magazine. News magazines have been a place where you can step back. I hope we don’t lose the concept…somebody still needs to give us the viewpoint from 30,000 feet.”
HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie: “Nostalgia! Newsweek was the first hard news I ever read as a kid, and I remember feeling elated when it would arrive in the mailbox every week. For now, though, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that job cuts will be minimal.”
Fmr. TWT Editor and Communications Exec Sam Dealey: “The big loser here isn’t the Dear Reader — hop on Nexis and compare, say, Newsweek‘s coverage of the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975 to pretty much any of its recent coverage of any topic. No, the real loser in Newsweek‘s demise is TIME magazine. It’s hard to sell ads when you’re in a dwindlingmarket of one. …Alas, there go the weeklies.”
Mother Jones‘ Adam Weinstein: “Future of journalism” pieces aside, there was always a bigger issue with Newsweek: A lot of weeks in life aren’t interesting.
Politico‘s Charlie Mahtesian: “I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s nevertheless a little jarring. It’s always a little sad to lose a venerable print outlet, especially one with a national voice that once served to connect so many Americans from across divergent backgrounds.”
TWT‘s op-ed writer Emily Miller: “I totally support all dead trees. But interesting to note that the conservative magazines are still going strong.”
Anonymous D.C. Bigmouth: “Has anyone noticed that everything Tina touched doesn’t make it. Newsweek isn’t shutting down print because its a roaring success.”
C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman: “I think what Newsweek needed was more Matt Cooper stand-up.”
Current TV’s David Shuster: “I thought Newsweek stopped publishing years ago? Seriously, the only valuable thing at Newsweek was the occasional cover story when it was written by my friend Daniel Gross. I can read his stuff on-line. The rest of whatever Newsweek thought it was doing the past few years won’t be missed.”
RealClearPolitics‘s Carl Cannon: “As a technology, paper has had a very long run: 558 years from the publication of the Guttenberg Bible until today…and counting. But as Tina Brown suggested today, there is life after print—as I’ve learned myself—and there is first-rate journalism being done online.”
TWT’s Anneke Green: “Looks like I’ll have to find a new source for outdated news.”
Shameless plug: Mediabistro recently caught up with Newsweek/The Daily Beast. See here.