25 January 2010

Washington Post Notices Webcomics

The Washington Post has nominated twenty-two webcomics for a best of the decade recognition (only a few of which would have made my nomination lists). One of the recognized comic authors astutely recognizes the irony of having a print media outlet recognize excellence in one of the non-print media that may ultimately lead to its demise in print.

In the same vein, I mourn the demise at the end of 2009, of the Washington Post Weekly Edition, which highlighted feature articles of more than breaking headline depth, which I had read for years. This end surprised me because the marginal cost of collecting articles that have already been written for the daily into a weekly edition have to be low, because the non-daily periodical market had been healthier than the daily newspaper market (I thought), and because dead tree paper related production costs also have to be pretty low (since only a tiny fraction of the total content in the newspaper is printed and mailed). But, someone decided that the weekly edition wasn't profitable and it was killed.

The temporary replacement for those who have subscriptions that have not run out, Newsweek magazine, is considerably worse as a periodical than it was twenty years or so ago when I read it regularly. It has almost descended to the vapidity of weekly Sunday newspaper magazine supplements like Parade magazine, when it had previously been on a rough par with daily newspaper associated press news articles. It is really a pity to see a high quality product die, while mediocre one somehow hangs on.

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