Media, KoreAm Journal, And The Death Of Print?

September 5, 2008

If you think about the publishing constraints in regard to time that a print
magazine like KoreAm has versus real-time publishing from online media, and
combine that with the fact that online media can have a richer experience for
readers with video, slide shows, real-time polls, integration into social
networks, and community discussions -- I really don't know how long print
magazines like KoreAm can survive with their current business model.

they relevant? Definitely. Are they important? Yes. Can a magazine like KoreAm
and others of that ilk get interviews and stories that aren't available to
non-established media outlets that may be indirect competition? Yes -- but that's
changing, and rapidly.

At the same time, one of the things I've always
wondered about, has been how media specifically geared towards print readers has
looked at subscribers, circulation, and readership, and if in the long run,
that's become a part of the problem.

For instance, while a magazine may
have 5,000 paid subscribers, or a circulation of 10,000, they also pitch to
advertisers about readership, and typically, readership is inferred via
pass-along numbers and samples of data.

Compare that to online, where
even with its problems in regard to location because of proxies and IP
addressing (which print can account for much easier), advertisers can still get
a better sense of how many times their ad is displayed, as well as other
measurable results like if a person actually interacted with their marketing
campaign, if that led to a sale, and usually at a lower cost (although I think
this will change when advertisers and publishers start seeing online readers as
being more valuable in terms of connections to other networks and visibility).

In this way, it's easy to see why some advertisers have shifted some of
their budgets to online advertising and marketing campaigns.

So what's
my point?

To be honest, when I started writing this, I didn't really
have a point -- I just felt like writing about the challenges that print media,
and especially niche magazines like KoreAm Journal have in this current age of

But I do have some more thoughts, and I guess you could
consider them points I might be trying to make, or just questions to throw out

  • If traversing the business landscape is difficult enough for print media in
    general, what does a magazine specifically geared towards Asian Americans have
    to do in order to sustain themselves, and how do the closings of other
    traditional media outlets geared towards the Asian American population (and the
    lack of advertisers who wanted to put their money into what they saw as a niche
    market) affect the pitch to advertisers and sponsors?
  • Is media that's geared towards a specific ethnic makeup in regard to the
    Asian American population destined to be limited and eventually consumed by more
    Pan Asian media, or does it really have a sustainable base in the long run?
  • Should AA bloggers, vloggers, and social networking sites not connected to a
    media organization be seen as direct and indirect competition, or should they be
    seen as more collaborative groups to embrace, and help with an organization's
  • Is there a point where a print magazine like KoreAm thinks less about the
    cannibalization of their print offerings and instead more about their brand in
    general, thinking about themselves more as a media company and less as a
    traditional magazine? Should they?
  • Do people being featured in magazines, and those reading them, feel better
    about being in print versus online because of the intangibles that print gives
    to a reader? Is the connection better?
  • Are magazines like KoreAm (when compared to a group like bloggers) in a
    better position to output more polished, focused, and in-depth content than
    bloggers, who can sometimes serve the attention deficit crowd moving on from one
    topic to the next rather quickly (although not always)?
  • Does the current state of KoreAm, Comcast dropping iaTV in San Francisco, or
    AZN TV closing earlier this year tell us anything about Asian American media, or
    have they simply been business models which haven't worked, or failed to
    capitalize on new trends and audiences. Specifically in the case of KoreAm, does
    this give it more of an opening into a wider audience?
  • And finally -- has writing this gotten me really hungry for some reason?

I can definitely answer that last question -- which is a yes -- so I'm out and
done with the exception of one last quick note:

You have to respect what KoreAm Journal has been doing, and while I'm sure
they like other businesses are looking at how to adapt, if you don't want to see
them go, if you think they are valuable in the community, you do need to do
something about it and get on out and either subscribe or donate
to their cause and let them know that you're behind them.




support who you can, and in whatever way you can. but if you are here reading this, don't forget to think about hyphen too!