“Bring out your dead!” But print’s not dead yet!

For all you “demise of print” soothesayers, I’ve got a little story for you. Last week, the election of Barack Obama as our nations 44th president brought HOPE to both our country and to the print industry. While watching the speech on November 4th, my roommate and I decided to do our best to get newspapers of the election results on November 5th This is an historically significant event. I wanted proof that I’d seen it. I was inspired by my AP US History teacher, Mr. Litchfield who displays the front page articles of various historical events in his classroom – the US moon landing, Roosevelts’ fourth term election…

Apparently people around the country were equally moved to buy a copy…

Line outside of the NYT Building

From the Gothamist: This is the line outside of the New York Times building in NYC. Once I got into the city on Wednesday morning, I checked the closest news stands, Starbucks, Borders, Walgreens – All had sold out of that day’s NYT.

So I did what anyone with a sister at the New York Times would do – I called my sister and had her save me a copy.

picture-6She, being the lovely sister that she is, obliged me right away and sent me a copy. She also, gave my name and search story to a reporter – one Richard Perez-Pena.

picture-8Got a call later that day from Richard asking about my quest for a paper, why it was important for me to have a copy and where I’d gone to get one — and YES. Lots of people go to Starbucks and Borders as a surefire place to get the “Times”. OK?

The next day, all of my coworkers were asking me how the hell I’d gotten to be in the New York Times because here is the article. And here’s my quote from the November 6th article:

picture-71

Feel free to laugh. I did.

Alright, alright – so the more important point is (as Perez-Pena points out at the bottom of the above screen shot) that this gave the print facet of the news industry a ray of Obama-branded HOPE.

Suddenly newsPAPERS were a commodity. Something tangible to represent participation in this event. I voted. I saw it happen.

The frenzy continued and madness ensued on Craigslist and Ebay…picture-3picture-41The people who run NYT Social Media activity (Is that you @Converseon?) brilliantly came up with a Facebook gift of the November 5th NYT front page. I got one from my friend, colleague and fellow LaunchSquadder, Miko Mercer.

picture-2The point is, as long as historical events keep happening, I think we’re going to see a continued demand for tangible evidence. The demand for this particular copy translates into a demand for physical engagement. People felt like they were a part of this election and this process by purchasing a copy. Or at least I did.

Just so you know – the paper was much easier to find on November 6th when I bought a hardcopy of my quote. For my mom.

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One response to ““Bring out your dead!” But print’s not dead yet!

  1. I’d have to disagree. Khoi Vinh(the head of design at nytimes.com) also posted something similar to this on his blog. The fact that people already new what had happened means that newspapers don’t provide the news anymore- tangible evidence isn’t much of a business model since events worth commemorating don’t happen all that often. The real news is on the web, and sometimes still the television. Also, the US post office is planning on cutting 40k jobs according to Tribble Ad Agency.

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