DAVID E. SUMNER
MUNCIE, Indiana: Yes, the internet is hurting magazines, but for the large part, magazines are adapting and changing much faster and better than newspapers in meeting the threat.
That is the verdict of Prof David E. Sumner, the head of the nationally recognised magazine program at Ball State University, and the co-author with Shirrel Rhoades of Magazine: A Complete Guide to the Industry (Peter Lang, 2006).
The inherent elasticity of magazines to shift content, to shift audiences, and to even shift geographical locations enables them to come up with new business models to counter any threat, says Prof Sumner. And a small but significant proportion of new magazine readers are those who stumbled upon the internet sites of the magazines.
“Magazines are amazingly resilient in the face of changing social, economic and technological circumstances. But content is still king, content still reigns. The internet is just a medium to deliver content. This business is still finding stories and reporting and writing them well. As long as we do that, magazines will have audiences both in print and online.”
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