The Printed Word

We blog, tweet, post. Read, skim, search. We can now receive so much of our information online, on demand, and choose exactly what sources from which to receive it. We’re no longer limited to three nightly newscasts and our daily local paper.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Future of the News Business: A Monumental Twitter Stream All in One Place,” from Andreessen Horowitz, accessed June 6, 2014.]

But with such a cache of information comes a few disadvantages, like the lack of attention span to sit down in a comfortable recliner or hammock and read a long-form article in a magazine. They still exist, of course, but part of the challenge is conceding that we want to invest the time it takes to read a printed Time article versus reading a quick summary of the same topic’s salient points via an online source.

Just recently, Time Inc. — publisher of such popular magazines as Time, People, Sports Illustrated and more than 50 other titles – spun off from its parent company, Time Warner. The publishing magnate’s revenues have plummeted by 34 percent and its operating profit by 59 percent over the last 10 years. As readership and paid subscriptions drop, so do advertising revenues. Let’s face it, why buy a weekly People magazine when you’ve already seen photos of a Kardashian wedding online — including collaborative selfies posted on Instagram by celebrities in attendance?

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Time Inc. Spinoff Reflects a Troubled Magazine Business,” from Pew Research Center, June 5, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “State of the News Media 2014,” from Pew Research Journalism Project, March 26, 2014.]

There used to be more value attached to what we refer to as “the printed word.” Hemingway and many other iconic American writers started out as journalists and honed their craft with shorter pieces. They wrote and rewrote, and then their editors shaped and corrected and edited to perfection. There was time to fact-check and proofread — and it mattered. It mattered that readers got correct information with correct grammar because they couldn’t make corrections in real time. Published retractions were disgraceful admissions of error, not acceptable de rigueur as they are today.

In the past, the news was neutral and facts were reported without opinion — Walter Cronkite style. His nightly sign-off, “And that’s the way it is,” was never doubted because viewers trusted the impartiality of his news reports. Today, even well-respected, well-established media outlets trend toward far more news bias than in the past.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Poll: Media Bias Tops Money as the Biggest Problem in Politics,” from Washington Examiner, May 28, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “And From the Left … Fox News,” at Columbia Journalism Review, March 3, 2014.]

Now, anyone can have an online voice as a reporter, writer or photographer. A global medium now exists where everyone can express opinions and ideas. The Internet blurs the line between expert opinion and opining by “Everyman.” While it makes for interesting reading, we’ve learned we must frequently take what is published on the Internet with a grain of salt. In fact, the value of information generally comes from the source that provides it, and that’s where we come in.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “On TV, Few Amateur Journalists Get Credit for Their Contributions to the News,” from Pew Research Center, June 5, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Here’s What Happens When the Readers Choose the Front Page Story,” from NewsWhip, March 6, 2014.]

When it comes to your finances, what matters most is what matters to you. News stories can update you on local and global happenings, but can they inform you of the potential effect an economic indicator may have on your retirement strategy? We are happy to help translate how current events in the news and in our industry may impact your financial life. Please give us a call to discuss what matters to you.

Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies that include the use of insurance products.

These articles are being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any financial decisions. While we believe this information to be correct, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included. All clients are encouraged to consult qualified tax and legal professionals before making any decisions about your personal situation.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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