In an interview with today’s Observer, The Economist editor John Micklethwaite suggests his news magazine has weathered the internet storm surprisingly well: ‘A hurricane hit newspapers. But there seem to be products – mostly Sunday newspapers and magazines – that even young people still want to pick up. The print version of the Economist didn’t seem to be as immediately threatened as we first thought.”
“So much for the effect of the internet and the corresponding decline of the printed word,” The Observer quips – noting The Economist’s 1.2 million circulation and latest £49 million annual profit – before appearing to contradict itself: “is profitable, Micklethwait says, although it might not be if the contributions of staff paid by the print edition were removed.” Which is to suggest that the website is still reliant on its print stablemate. You’d have to wonder if that isn’t its greatest strength.