In a January [insert year here] article, tabloid reporter [insert writer’s name here] wrote of the [insert media of your choice here] industry in a state of transition, waking up to the reality of a new medium that had initially been “ridiculed with broad grins.” However [writer’s name] was confident that although [old media] would have to evolve, they would survive by giving the context and analysis that [new media] could not.
The above quote was taken from a recent article by Clive Vanderwagen that appeared in Daily Industry News titled “Why Magazines?” The line was actually written about the newspaper industry when radio became “the newest thing” in 1928, but could just have easily been written about the magazine industry in today’s world, as digital media shakes up the way we do business.
And that’s exactly his point.
“It is true that the internet is doing (and some would argue already has done) to print media what radio and television did before it and, as an industry, we are going to have to adapt massively if we are to survive,” Vanderwagen notes. “It is also true that there will be many casualties along the way but we are confident that magazines in general…will not fall by the wayside.”
Magazines continue to thrive because, according to Vanderwagen, “we have always told stories that resonate deeply with our readers and given our readers the opportunity to engage with us.”
This is something that simply cannot be accomplished in the digital sound-bite, meme-based style of content fire hose that passes for a digital news stream.
We see it in politics, social discussions and international affairs: Bits of information, designed to provoke emotions, which are then used as bullet points in determining sides and bolstering up knee jerk reactions. The more careful, in depth analysis that magazines provide, outside of the immediate environment of digital consumption, is what gives us the opportunity to learn, to educate ourselves and truly understand a topic. And it gives us the ability to form a relationship with the brand that provides that information, viewing them as a trusted source that helps us make sense of the world.
As humans we crave information. As informed citizens of the world we believe it is a requirement to go below the surface and learn, not just absorb and reflect back.
This search for deeper understanding—whether the topic is gardening, hot rods or world affairs—is what keeps this industry going strong.