Not a Death, an Emergence

Today Newsweek announced their decision to sunset their print publication and only provide their news via digital delivery. While they are not the first to make such a decision, and certainly won’t be the last, a pervasive reaction has surprised me. The “meme” for the Newsweek change follows the idea that the magazine is dead. I have a different view.

As I see it, this decision reflects the publication emerging from its chrysalis, it’s paper-based cocoon, into a new, vibrantly colorful and light-weight creature. Newsweek is adapting. Perhaps even evolving into something that was always its destiny. This will be true for many publications that have existed inside their cocoon of wood pulp.

Here’s the truth: Emerging as a product available only through digital delivery is the truly mature destination. Residing only inside a stack of paper was a step in development towards this more effective form of delivery. The DNA of the creature remains the same, just the form has changed. The delivery has changed. No longer is this creature restricted to surfaces in one plane. Now this species can take to the skies, fly around with little or no resistance while traveling further with little or no additional effort.

This is not the death of Newsweek. This is the emergence of the new, winged Newsweek. And there will be more to come.