Is print media dead? It’s that nagging question that haunts the modern journalist’s mind.
In light of last week’s shocking ousting of Vogue (NewsLifeMedia) Editor-in-Chief Kirstie Clements it’s unsurprising that print and online publications alike are pondering the fate of print media.
“It dies with me.” – Jean-Luc Godard
Just as Godard claimed his title as last man standing in a dying art, so too can those (still) employed in print titles owned by media giants Fairfax and News Limited.
“Magazines are haemorrhaging readers (in print) and fashion magazines are bleeding particularly heavily,” said Mia Freedman, Editor of online lifestyle publication Mamamia.
To put it into perspective, Vogue circulates 51K copies per month (3K less than rival glossy Harper’s Bazaar) but draws a massive 1.1million views per month online.
For some readers, like Freedman, who says “Print magazines are not a conversation, they’re a monologue”, the print medium can longer give them the experience they crave.
Why buy a magazine when you can read the same information for free online? Why wait a month for the latest fashion news when you can read about it straight away on the web?
Freedman’s extensive experience in print media, having been Editor of Cosmo, Cleo and Dolly, didn’t stop her from becoming disillusioned with the state of glossy magazines.
“Most importantly, they don’t reflect anything resembling my life or the life of anyone I know.” – Mia Freedman
Though Freedman certainly makes a point about glossy magazines not representing real life – those who aren’t 5 ft 10 and look like a praying mantis, need not apply – that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Like a wilting flower, we need to appreciate print magazines for all their beauty while we still have them. Soon enough their petals will drop and all we’ll be left with is the dull glow of our computer screens, staring back at us.