April 22, 2013

A sad day for More! magazine

More! magazine has sadly announced it’s closure today taking immediate effect from tomorrow. The last issue is out tomorrow and I for one will definitely be buying it, for one last read.

I feel especially sad about this news as last year myself & some other lifestyle bloggers took part in More! magazine’s blog boudoir, a little project lead by the lovely Alison who gave us the opportunity to contribute articles and video blogs to the website in December 2011. I loved the mag and was super excited to be involved.

Today, the Guardian reported that the readership had fallen from 300k readers in 2000 to under 100k this year. No one’s really sure if the magazine is temporarily suspended or whether it’s gone for good – but it’s definitely one of those moments that makes everyone stop and think for a moment. A few questions appear to be etched across frowning foreheads:  is this a sign of what’s to come for the print industry? But more importantly: if this is the case, what are we going to do to stop it slowly disappearing? If print media is taking a hit because of social networking and online blogs, then what does this really mean for the industry as a whole?

I work in the digital industry and admit I am a completely slave to the Internet. I have RSS feeds, blog lists, ‘bookmarked’ tabs and  Google alerts coming out of my ears, but I will never forget how much I adore curling up with a print magazine – there is just nothing like it.

When TimeOut announced that it was to be giving away its weekly issue free-of-charge, this also raised alarm bells for me. Are we becoming complacent when it comes for paying for our content? I always think when picking up a copy of Stylist that if they randomly starting charge £1, I would pay. I would pay, because it’s awesome content. Same with the Telegraph, who only recently have announced they will also be implementing a pay-wall, after the first 20 articles that is, which you get for free.

Just like a consultant might get annoyed when people ask to ‘pick their brain’ in return for nothing but a crummy sandwich, journalists have to make a living. We don’t get books for free, so why should we demand well-researched articles for free? This is why I also don’t act bitter when I have to cough up £4 for my Times membership. Studies show that pay-walls put us off. We don’t like paying for online content, and we are starting to completely resent pay any money of print too. I always overhear people in W H Smiths ranting about the ‘amount of ads’ in magazines such as ELLE and Vogue, asking themselves why they are about to spend £4 on a pile of glossy A3 billboards at a price of a M&S microwave meal. You’re paying for the brand, you’re paying for the top fashion journalists to plot a carefully thought-out editorial calendar with all the juicy ‘over-heard on the runway’ content from the fashion elite. Basically, you’re paying for the real deal.

When buying a print magazine, we are buying something to keep, to hold, flick through, carry with you and read slowly and personally, as opposed to going all cross-eyed on a screen and just adding to a number of accumulated ‘hits’. I will never understand those people that read whole books off an iPhone 4s, screwing up their faces as their battery levels yell at them.

As my colleague Stefan Stern recently wrote in his post “Newspapers – we’ll miss them when they’re gone”: “No app, however wonderful, can quite replicate the experience of reading a real, actual newspaper. It is not the same as holding paper between your fingers, and alighting upon stories you would never have seen (and certainly would not have “searched” for). Two front pages in three days have, this week, proved the power of print once again.”

Every Sunday, I skip down to the nearest newsagents (in Hackney where I live) and like a kid in a candy store, pick up my heavy issue of the Sunday Times and lug it home, excited to dip into it.  It’s a beast. Yes, I could download the app and yes, the plastic bag loaded with paper is 100x times more heavy that the iPhone that’s sitting in my pocket – but I love discovering stories, turning the pages, and re-reading the articles with a cuppa tea. What’s more: you can’t get nifty with scissors and Pritstick with an app, but you can with a Sunday supplement. (Yes, I’m in my 20’s and I still make collages. and what.)

I hope the digital revolution is not killing magazines. I love scrolling Pinterest, reading blogs, laughing at GIFS, I really do – but the excitement of buying a fresh magazine bursting full of well-thought out print journalism can never be replaced.

Sending my love to the More! magazine folks and wishing them the best of luck with everything the future will bring. xo

  • Such a shame, especially after being part of the Blog Boudoir with you! I will miss More! but maybe this is the first step into the future…

  • Thanks Chloe…was good to meet you guys 🙂 yes perhaps you’re right xox

  • Louise

    Nothing quite beats the touch of the gloss / matte paper & smell of printed ink. I, too, am working in the digital age. But, I love print. Long may it live.

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