Good news, digital writers, the respectability gap between you and the folks whose work gets publishing in ink has almost completely closed…
That’s according to the NYT’s executive editor, Jill Abramson, who revealed that she has no special place in her heart for print media. Abramson no longer distinguishes between print and online, focusing instead on “the news report.”
Coming from the editor of a site named Digital Marketer, that wouldn’t mean too much… but this is from the Executive Editor of the most influential media outlets in the world, the New York Times. So… yeah.
“There was too much focus in the past on the print product… [We] now make sure energy is 24/7 and not focused on newspaper deadlines and rhythms.” – Jill Abramson
A few years ago, writing for a digital publication, even a pretty well-known one, was considered a second-tier qualification in a writer’s portfolio. For some reason, it didn’t matter that fewer and fewer people were actually reading print, those publications still held all the credibility.
The NYT, to the paper’s credit, keyed in on the shift earlier than almost any of its ink and paper competitors — a decision that has helped the Times establish itself as a digital innovator.
The same thing is now happening with authors, except we’re still a long way from a level playing field. The publishing industry is still dominated by an old model, despite the fact that, just like it was with the news media, any fourth grader could tell you that the future of books is digital.
It may feel like a risk to bypass the publishing models of the past, going straight to digital… but chances are that it won’t feel that way in 10 years.
In fact, right now might be the perfect time to get in early, before the ePub industry gets as overcrowded as the print publishing industry.
What do you think? Will the gap between digital authors and print authors close in the next 5 years?