Some insanely prosperous times – when advertisers were supporting magazines almost as enthusiastically as readers – clouded things. We got carried away and sometimes even confused advertising-fuelled profits with reader euphoria. But let’s not be fooled again.
The 21st century decline in revenue and readers will kill some companies and many brands. But it cannot kill off the magazine. The magazine is not a format, but a mood, meeting place, badge, and a sense of belonging.
Whether in hard copy or digital-something, magazines belong to readers and users who are united by a shared passion.
We know who we are.
Colin Morrison | Media blogger, sometime magazine editor and publisher, Flashes & Flames
Every new technology kills off the one before it, right?
Radio eradicated theatre. TV annihilated radio. VCR exterminated TV. And the internet is going to destroy it all, magazines included…
Apparently not. Along with thriving theatres, vibrant radio, massive growth in TV programme recording, magazines can’t and won’t give in to the gloomy predictions of the naysayers.
What actually happens when a new medium appears is that people accommodate it in their lives alongside the media they already love… as long as those media continue to evolve and provide irreplaceable value.
That’s what print has to do. And it will.
Diane Kenwood | Editor, Woman’s Weekly
What’s it like to be in magazines today?
The smart ones have already disappeared. The leadership, out of touch and in denial, clings to outdated policies and spouts nonsensical dogma.
The footsoldiers are doomed and desperate; only those unable to desert remain at their posts. Defeat is certain.
However, I was in Berlin only recently and it’s lovely. Which isn’t a lot of use when you’re eating your own shoes, but I still hope that in a few years we’ll be able to rebuild something different yet recognisably magazine-like.
Now? Not great… Anyone got a tasty rat?
Start with the cover.
Work out what you want to say and why you want to say it.
Make it mean something. Make it yours, for your readers, for your title, don’t care a sausage what the other fella’s done with his. Be tough, never say ‘that’ll do’, don’t be scared to start again if it’s not working. Give it hips.
Then send it, feel relieved. Then worry about it constantly until you see it on the page, the great smelling, new, fresh page. Spot mistakes, fret, promise yourself you’ll make it better next time.
Then start with the cover…
Paul McNamee | Editor, Big Issue
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I installed a huge sign on our office staircase wall this week.
It’s a quote that succinctly sums up the attitude you need to work in publishing these days. It simply says… The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way’.
Publishing is moving at pace. The technology we use today wasn’t on our horizon five years ago so we need to constantly question what we do, and whether it is still a good idea. Chances are it hasn’t been for a while.
Adapt. Change. Evolve. Choose your word, but you better be doing something.
Duncan Wood | COO & Publisher, Rapid News Communications Group
* Quote attributed to Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, US Navy