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Electronic vs. Paper Publishing - Opinion

Newspapers and book publishers should convert to electronic publishing over paper publishing as their primary product. Do you agree or disagree?

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1. Newspapers and book publishers should convert to electronic publishing over paper publishing as their primary product.

It depends on a number of things (discussed below). For example, different advantages and limitations would exist depending on the type of industry, as it would be different for a manager of a publishing company, than it would be for a manager of a clothing store. The latter might publish newsletters and clothing magazines, but a publishing company would have a greater number of books and other material (including more regulations) to publish than a clothing store manager. This response is coming from a general management perspective.

Briefly, digital technology is the force behind the ability to blend text, photographs, sound, graphics and movie images into a single electronic database. Although there is a move toward a pure model of electronic publishing in some businesses, it does not exist yet. In most cases, the publishing process still involves paper at one or more points. "Just as credit cards and checks have been unable to move us to a cashless society, so the ability to be totally electronic has not yet evolved into the paperless office or home". (1)

However, with the increasing costs associated with paper publishing of their primary product and the large storage spaces needed for hard copies (as compared to disks), it is being looked at more seriously by management as an alternative. There are also advantages to electronic publishing that management needs to consider. Large amounts of data can be stored on smaller and smaller discs. Performance is faster. The technology behind the digital revolution has been on a steep downward cost trend for decades. And the products are more reliable than in the past. (1) On the other hand, many of the costs behind traditional print continue to increase. This is particularly true for the costs of raw materials -- paper and oil-based ink. The cost of distribution of all this paper is also influenced by the cost and availability of energy and labor. (1)

Would electronic publishing better meet the company objectives?

Often, the place to start the decision-making process is for management to consider ...

Solution Summary

This 1,314 word solution discusses various factors, advantages, and limitations of newspapers and print converting to electronic publishing. References are provided for further reading.