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A quiet place.

In the most recent issue of Publishing Executive, I read an article that tried to answer this question intelligently: why printed magazines in the age of the internet? Setting aside the fact that most of us were educated on books and that the new generations may well windup largely the same way before long, magazines have a special importance as part of the continuum that stems from books for many years; that is, learning that is produced in the manner valuable enough to be permanentized in print and valuable enough to be invited onto a table, desk, or briefcase in a less pedestrian way then a series of electrons spun instantly (and sometimes somewhat carelessly) over the Internet.

Magazines are a quiet place; there are none of the distractions that come together with websites striving desperately to be marketing tools for their originators. Isn't it funny that from what would have been a beautifully clutter-less message environment, the internet has become a gaggle of noisy cacophonies. I recently had a discussion with an advertiser in this magazine who returned to print because "The internet's constant stream of information, spam, ads and "look at me" pop ups have worn people out at times when reading the text is all that is desired. At such times they may be annoyed by the fact of online advertising as a intrusion into their business communications."

My view of the Insurance Advocate is akin to a preference for the "Quiet Car" on Amtrak's Acela Express, away from the noisy, cell-phone barking, sloppy world of "everything cars" All of it is sold as "business class", but the emphasis on either of those words varies dramatically by car. Magazines don't impose the same way that Internet communications do. Websites that are accessed periodically need to keep up an entertainment level that it is impossible for a subject such as insurance to sustain, in my view.

While the Insurance Advocate never pretended to be entertaining, we do not intrude on the business life and thinking of readers. Moreover, our words are limited and edited and provided in a thinking person's format that we hope will brighten our readers' grasp of the business, almost as a continuum of the learning they began years ago in books.

We are sure that the internet has extraordinary value for the business in many aspects of communicating, but somewhere there is a segment for more of a "gourmet dinner". We take vitamins and eat fast food but a well prepared hot meal gives greater satisfaction and appreciation just as a thoughtfully prepared printed document. Our vehicle of choice for soul satisfying intellectual nourishment is still the printed word.

The preciosity and relative permanence of the book and its extensions will never be replaced.--S.A.

Steve Acunto, Publisher

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Title Annotation:A LETTER TO READERS
Author:Acunto, Steve
Publication:Insurance Advocate
Date:Jul 13, 2009
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