Caroline Overington today wrote on rumours that Meanjin will be going online only (She’s agreeing with Peter Craven’s view that if Meanjin goes online only it will “cease effectively to exist”):
Craven doesn’t mean that it won’t find an audience, and will sink like a stone in the swamp that is the web – although that’s very likely true – he means that publishing online is vastly inferior to publishing in a proper journal, something that can be stored in libraries, held in your hand, kept forever.
If something exists only online, it’s like a bubble blown by a child: shiny, maybe even delightful, but flimsy, soon gone…
For mine, Craven is correct: quality essays should be published on real pieces of paper. It’s disrespectful to stick them up with drivel on the Web.
Don’t look for Overington’s comments on “real pieces of paper”, though – they “exist only online.”
Words fail me.