Online or Flatline

An Escape from the Media-morgue

The traditional media has no choice: to survive in the harsh new operating environment, in which traditional revenues are being rapidly depleted by the rise of free globally distributed information and the decline in advertising revenues, newspapers, magazines and broadcasters have no other option than to make the transition to the Internet.

Alex Beishuizen and Johannes van Bentum, editors-in-chief of Dutch IT weekly Computable, the largest IT trade journal in the Netherlands, transformed the 41-year-old print publication into the first magazine produced solely by online editors. This new and bold approach won them the prestigious LOF Award for trade journals in the Netherlands in April 2009.

In May 2009, Beishuizen and Van Bentum went on to publish a book Online or Flatline based on their experience and achievements at Computable. From the moment it hit the market the book caused considerable commotion and discussion among media professionals in the Netherlands.

In January 2008, Computable was transformed into the first traditional magazine in the world produced solely by online editors. Computable is now above all a website. All other publications under the same brand, such as a weekly, six yearly directories, several special supplements, seminars and webcasts are considered by-products of the website.

It took 18 months to complete the transformation from a traditional weekly magazine to an online brand and it did not happen without a struggle. Several plans and even the overarching transition strategy had to be adjusted radically during the process.

In order to survive in harsh times all traditional media must make the same transition, according to Beishuizen and Van Bentum. This applies not only to newspapers and magazines, but also to broadcasters. The transition from print to web has profound implications for the editorial organization and sets specific requirements for an editorial board.

Online or Flatline is a handy and practical book in which the authors offer journalists, publishers, editors and media executives an escape-route out of the ever-expanding media-morgue, that has seen the collapse or diminution of several long-established print publications, by making the critical transition from print to web.

Alex BeishuizenAlex Beishuizen started his career as a radio reporter. After several years as marketing manager at a number of regional broadcasters, he became editor-in-chief of the internet portal Sonera Plaza. Subsequently he served as head of several editorial departments at the Dutch national daily Algemeen Dagblad. Currently he is editor-in-chief at the Dutch IT trade journals Computable and CRN.

Johannes van BentumJohannes van Bentum has worked as a financial and economic journalist since 1986. He wrote successively for the Reed Business publications Elsevier Carrière, Agrarisch Dagblad and FEM Business. After a short but inspiring adventure at the opinion magazine Pitch he joined the editorial management at the IT trade journals Computable and CRN mid 2006.

For more information please contact
Alex Beishuizen (+31-6-30851732) or Johannes van Bentum (+31-6-22920116).