Are magazines committing suicide?

I was traveling this weekend and as I am wont to do, spent too much time at bookstores and magazine stands.

I came across the current issue of the New Yorker, where this article caught my eye: "A reporter at Large: Anatomy of a Meltdown", and the current issue of Wired, where this article caught my eye: "Ray Ozzie wants to Push Microsoft Back into Startup Mode".

I haven't read either article yet, but a cursory scan says that they are just the kind of thing I am interested in. Just the thing I'd be willing to pay for. Here's the thing. I thought about buying them (probably $10 total) but instead, back at my hotel, in the lobby, logged onto the free internet and printer connected computer, and printed out both articles, stapled them (handy stapler provided by hotel) and took them to my room.

I like this, as a reader. But the fact that the magazines make these articles available, free, in full text, without ads even (check the links I privide and you will see no ads!), tells me something. I have to believe that the editors know that these are some of their most catchy articles, and that they didn't end up on the web site by accident. I have to believe that they are there only after a good bit of soul searching around the editorial desk.

It's sad to see, but I take this as a sign that magazines (and newspapers) are on their deathbed.
Posted on December 1, 2008 and filed under Life, Politics.