Magazines Were Made For This Moment

While we consume enormous amounts of news, entertainment and social chatter online, one magazine industry exec sees a new role for his product.

“Fewer people are reading short stories (in book form) and novels, and instead they are turning to magazines,” explains Petri Korhonen of Otava Media’s Outdoor Magazine Group in Finland. “And they want the same quality from those magazines than books. As a result, magazines are getting bigger, glossier and more beautiful than ever before.”

In fact, Korhonen says in an interview with MagWorld that “magazines are taking the place of books.” So rather than looking at digital media or other forms of media as their competition, he has an unusual take.

“For us (magazines), the main competition is time,” he explains. “We are always busy doing something. We are craving time, time to share with family, spend on hobbies, or even work, away from interruptions. We crave more and more private spaces, private moments. Our aim is for part of that to be spent relaxing with a magazine.” 

Like so many in the magazine industry, Korhonen is rightly concerned with the rise of fake news and social media echo chambers. His answer, not surprisingly, comes down to quality journalism.

“Quality, quality and more quality,” he asserts. “We have to do better journalism, check the facts, and challenge (those in pursuit of or in power). We have to be more professional than ever before.”

Magazines offer that free space in which to clear our brains of the chatter, lean back and consume content with an open mind. In those quiet moments when snap judgments and the urge to share vanish, we engage with magazine content in a deep and meaningful way.

The magazine media industry learned a harsh lesson in its baby steps into the digital world, as did so many of our readers. It seems like the perfect time for quality magazine content and the calm, intelligent trust it can inspire.