Newspapers are *gasp* selling out today

New Yorkers queue to buy newspapers, 11/05/2008. Photo by Jeremy Zilar.

Barack Obama may have ushered in the future, but one of his coattails has a distinct must of the past: heavy print newspaper sales.

Brian Stelter of the New York Times tweets: “I’m hearing that we’re printing another 50,000 papers this afternoon for the P.M. rush.”

A friend in the DC area tells me papers are sold out, but then cautions “Today may be one of the few days left this century where a lot of people cared about having a newspaper”

But, as Steve Outing says, on Twitter, “Lots of print newspaper copies sold today. Great short-term boost, but souvenir sales won’t save the industry. What’s next could be sad.”

Take the windfall when you can, of course, but don’t think this is anything but a souvenir grab.

Update: Steve Outing reports the San Francisco Chronicle is selling “commemorative” issues at a hefty markup. Also The Sun’s Gus Sentementes tweets that The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution are also running afternoon reprints/editions.

Update 2: If you’d rather just print your own, there’s a good collection here, chosen from a design perspective. And, as always, The Newseum has a comprehensive collection of front pages as well, though their flash module on the home page can’t be linked, so knock yourself out.

Update 3: Lots of good stuff on flickr. Who knew newspapers were the new sexy?

One more: Khoi Vinh has (of course) a nice shot and story about the reaction inside the New York Times to word that people were lining up for copies of the print edition: “People working on that floor hadn’t noticed yet that the line was forming, and when they realized its purpose, a feeling of delight swept over the newsroom like the friendliest wildfire I’d ever seen. Reporters, editors, photographers, everyone started clapping, hooting and hollering that people still find the newspaper valuable enough to wait dozens of people deep in line for their chance to buy a copy.”

Tim Windsor

VP, Content & Conversion at LendingPoint LLC
I lead media companies and other organizations that want to develop and improve their mobile and digital strategies and technologies, grow audience, and build sustainable digital revenue.