Did blogging really kill the print media star … and where did all these thoughts come from?

I’m not eager to read lengthy, monotonous posts and I usually don’t subject my readers to these sorts of posts either, but I promise I’ll make this as painless as possible.

This morning, an avalanche of words and thoughts filled my mind as I thought about my quick meeting with Cayleigh Bright (Editor at Glamour Magazine) and as I relived the first two chapters of Minki Pool’s (remember this name) manuscript.

DID BLOGGING REALLY KILL THE PRINT MEDIA STAR?

“People say that print media is dying but I’m working at a magazine that is doing better and better every month”, Cayleigh’s words resonated. I, too, thought (quite upset by the thought) that print media was dying and that the news and information we so desperately seek out, now solely rests in the blogs we choose to read and the blogger’s personal opinion on the matter. let it sink in

This being said, lots of magazine editors start blogs of their own and are pretty good at it too.

I AM A BLOGGER and what this means for me is that I get to voice my opinion. Nobody is watching me or monitoring what I say about which products, places or brands I choose to cover. A magazine editor writes her post which then gets edited (if needed) by the editor-in-chief (forgive my lack of magazine knowledge. I only know as much as Ugly Betty and The devil wears Prada taught me). Never in a magazine will you read “I love so and so brand” because media is supposed to be objective and factual, leaving the reader with enough information to make a decision for themselves.

This made me think “Print media was around before radio, television and the internet. I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon… and I’m quite happy about this”. I tried online magazine subscriptions before but nothing beats flipping through the pages of a magazine. Also… how else will ransom letters be made? kidding

WHERE DID ALL THESE THOUGHTS COME FROM?

I never realised that for the last couple of weeks, in my email inbox, lies a gem. Minki Pool (I told you to remember this name) sent me the first 2 chapters of her manuscript – her baby that has been growing and changing for years now.

Yesterday, I had some unexpected “free time” which I dedicated to reading my friend’s (regretted post-sent) reveal. I started reading – slow at first. As I got into it, I caught myself with my hands covering my mouth in anticipation (also almost gagging at a very unpleasant decaying body situation). All this time I’d been putting off READING in general because of the thought “I lack imagination and ability to read”.

What I didn’t realise was that my brain just needed training. The pictures were there in my mind – I could see every character and every setting. Her flare for use of adjectives and words like “proffered” and “spires” and phrases like “like some decaying giant” awakened my imagination.

Here’s what I’m getting at: In a time where opinions are freely disbursed and social media is so fast that it leaves no room to remember anything, are we becoming dumber? Should we not rather put the tablets and cell phones down for an hour or two every day and READ a book? Perhaps a leather bound book? Something that uses big words instead of action acronyms like “IDK” or “SMH”?

I just know that I don’t want someone to READ my blog and think that I’m a ditsy blonde with no depth or comprehension… or worse… point and “HA-HA” at poor sentence construction. There is, however, glimmers of true blogging excellence in the form of Cindy Alfino (who I admire and whose writing inspires me too) and others like Chicara from Lipgloss Kisses and the many others that we love (too many to mention).

Maybe (and this isn’t judgement) we should be clever about the blogs we follow…

Final thought: a magazine won’t accidentally take you to a porn site…

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6 thoughts on “Did blogging really kill the print media star … and where did all these thoughts come from?

  1. Print will never die off completely but media has dramatically changed over the past several years. With blogs you are able to track readership far better and reach a far greater audience, the internet is forever, than with print which will most likely be recycled or thrown away after a month. Just a glance at a well respected glossy SA magazine’s stats (a measly 10 000) versus what most bloggers hit shows a clear decline in readership as well as attention spans.

    Long live books though! Few things are greater than getting lost in a good novel.

  2. I have to disagree with the idea that the internet is forever. Sites that were my entire life as recent as 2008 don’t even exist anymore, with not so much as a Wikipedia entry to prove that they were ever there. Yet I still have magazines that were printed before I was born, not to mention books that are even older.

    Everything is transient. Web content will be deleted and magazines will be recycled, but I still think a hardcopy that can be held in the hands have an appeal to it that can’t be adequately imitated online. You can’t keep a secret shoe box full of love emails, after all!

    Also “Her flare for use of adjectives” *dies*

  3. LOVE this post, Leana. As someone with a background in magazines, this is something that’s been at the top of my mind for a good couple of years. But to be honest, I’m of the opinion that print is most definitely NOT dying. Yes, there are many titles that have closed up shop, but I don’t think that this is necessarily proof that print is dead. There’s no doubt that the media landscape is shifting, and I believe that a decline in readership (for print titles) is as a direct result of the economic climate. I used to fork our for a fat pile of 5 or 6 glossies every month… ELLE, Marie Claire, Glamour, Cosmo, Fairlady… I bought them all. Now, I find that I have to be a bit more choosy and buy one, MAYBE two magazines a month. Not because I’ve lost interest in magazines or what they have to say, but simply because I’ve had to tighten my belt as a result of ever-increasing food prices, rising petrol costs, a new addition to the family, etc.

    One thing I have noticed is that many magazines are placing a great emphasis on going digital in the form of websites, Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, etc. Some have even followed in the footsteps of beauty YouTubers and post beauty tutorials, etc. I don’t think that any of the above-mentioned are a bad idea, but I do believe that it’s vital that some sort of strategy is put in place. So many titles seem to be doing it blindly, with no clear strategy, and I think that this is where print media is going wrong. It’d like they’re in a blind panic and are simply jumping on the bandwagon for the fear of being left behind (though there are those few titles that are getting it right).

    This is getting very long… sorry! What I’m getting at is this: I LOVE magazines. Always have, always will. There is no bigger treat than devouring a fresh glossy while lying in bed and munching on chocolate. It’s my perfect way to spend an evening. I CRAVE it. I can’t wait till the middle of each month when all the new issues come out. Likewise, I read hundreds of blogs within the space of a week. But I do both for different reasons. I know that I can trust my fellow bloggers for honest beauty reviews, and I also read many blogs that are more personal in nature because I like to get a glimpse into others’ lives… it’s nice to be able to relate to REAL people and know that I’m not alone. But when I’m looking for inspiration – fashion, decor, or otherwise – I’m more likely to turn to ELLE or House & Leisure. You’ve spoken about actually sitting down and reading a book in your post, and I couldn’t agree more – only I don’t have much time for reading actual books these days, but I like the fact that I can get bite-sized articles of love, friendship, sex, travel, etc in my favourite glossy.

    Many magazine editors and publishers are panicking as they believe that bloggers pose a threat to their livelihoods – I don’t think this is the case. I think an over-saurated market, the economic climate and the believe that magazines are in competition with bloggers is what it all comes down to. So many magazines are trying too hard to fit the blogger mould – I don’t care what your fashion editor ate for lunch, or what your beauty editor did over the weekend! I want fashion inspiration, and I want expert advice – not opinions, that’s why i read blogs – on what I should be using on my skin, hair, etc. The challenge for magazine editors is to ensure that they are creating real, valuable content that readers won’t find on the internet. They need a reason to buy your magazine.

    Ok, I’m out. That was long. Sorry. What can I say, I’m passionate 😉 GREAT post, Leana. You’ve proved my theory that you are one super-intelligent and talented lady xxx

    • Oops, one more point: so many people falsely believe that I left the magazine industry to focus on my blog and manage social media accounts because I too believe that magazines are a dying breed. Not so. I had a baby and wanted a career that allowed me the flexibility that my career as a beauty editor didn’t. I think it’s important that people know this – it’s not because I believe that print is dead.

    • OMG Chereen… I feel like killing my mail fairies! Why the shitballs did I not see your comments or all the other comments here? *goes out in search of someone to hurt*
      Thank you so much for the kind words and the awesome post!!! I totally agree with you BTW. Also… girl.. you just do you and do it good! Because you’re rocking!!!

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