iDon’t Know About Digital Mags

by Adam Popescu

The iPad is here. Beware the new age.

With more than 300,000 first day sales and big time magazines like Time Inc. poised to offer $4.99 digital subscriptions starting in June, old world media is closer than ever to embrace this brave new world.

The ebb and flow of the online tide of journalism prompted the Columbia Journalism Review to compare the standards and web practices of magazine and web editors. They received 600 responses that displayed a wide gap between the mediums. The following is from an April 4 LA Times article I read online.

“About half of the respondents said that copy-editing standards for their websites were looser than for their print editions. An additional 11% said that online content wasn’t copy-edited at all. The numbers for fact checking were even more troubling: 40% said that web standards were looser than print, and 17% said that they did no fact checking whatsoever online. And a little more than half of the respondents said they correct factual errors on their websites without notifying readers of the errors.”

It’s the need for speed and lack of policing that has made the digital world a wild west with everyone essentially in the dark about everyone else. There is no Hippocratic oath for journalists. Instead there is temptation to post first and ask questions later…possibly never.

New media continues to stoke the fire. The iPad is another step away from print to something else we are still discovering. While I don’t want to read a magazine on a 9.7 inch touch screen, many major publications are banking that you do.

—Adam Popescu