Going Digital

As most of you know, the AP Stylebook, the standard for journalists, has been available online for a number of years. In fact, most I know only use the online version today. The print version is still available, of course, but with 500 changes a year being posted online, how can a print publication possibly serve any more?!

In fact, at the IU School of Journalism at IUPUI we require our students to subscribe to AP Online rather than purchase a book. It not only is far more effective and timely, it turns out to be cheaper in the long run.

So today comes the speculation, probably correct, that the hoary Oxford Dictionary from Oxford University Press will likely go digital next year (2011). And it may not, unlike the AP Stylebook, be produced in print at all!

So it really begs the question, again, why anything is produced on paper. Or, as one colleague remarks, “dead tree material.” Clearly there is still room for selected print publications. They have a presence that online does not. However….

With the launching of the iPad and others coming available, it is certainly clear that “Dead tree” publications are a thing of the past. Barnes & Noble and Amazon are already selling more digital product than print. And this is going to happen quickly.

What do you think? How much longer will it take until everything is digital?


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