Over the past decade, I have often been asked what is the future of landscape architecture media? this is due to the decline of newspaper and magazine readership and the rise of websites such as WLA and others over the past decade. There has been a shift from paper to digital formats whether its websites, digital magazines on ISSUU. However, there will always be a place for printed material in the media landscape. The inference that websites will kill magazines is untrue and this can be also be said of the hyperbole of radio killing newspapers, tv killing radio, VCR/DVD killing movies, streaming killing tv and so. There is a place for all types of media as long as there is a readership.
What is the future of landscape architecture media?
Landscape architecture students, professionals and the public are always looking for information and knowledge around landscape topics whether it is through books, magazines, websites, social media, company blogs, podcasts, vlogs and other future media platforms. These platforms offer the opportunity for more people to have a voice as the cost of production is getting lower and there are few publishing gatekeepers for people to navigate. This will lead to more and more people publishing content about landscape architecture which is encouraging for a burgeoning profession. Landscape architecture media will take on various forms and will include a greater diversity of information from varying perspectives.
We have recently seen landscape architecture firms, university programs, suppliers and organisations embrace curating and publishing content on their website, blogs, podcasts, and utilising social media and other platforms to distribute to their clients, colleagues and followers.
In the past twelve years of publishing WLA I have seen new landscape architecture websites, forums and blogs come and go as they struggle to maintain the energy to continue to publish but also the lack of financial support. All landscape architecture media is facing the need to create a viable business model in a shifting landscape with print media advertising budgets not transferring to digital, this is due to an industry reluctance to digital publishing (although better insight and data can be obtained) and lack of understanding of the possibilities available reach their customers.
The future of landscape architecture media is a greater diversity of voices through a variety of platforms and that is great for the profession as it showcases our knowledge, skills and built work that we do and the impact that landscape architecture has on cities, towns, neighbourhoods and communities.
Article Written by Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of WLA.