Mr. Magazine’s ™ Baker’s Dozen Magazine Wish List for 2016…December 30, 2015
2016 marks the beginning of my 32 years of teaching as a professor of journalism and my 50+ years of falling in love with print in general and magazines in particular. That being said, I thought it would only be fair to start a new tradition of an annual wish list for the New Year in magazines. So, here are my wishes for 2016 in no particular order:
1. At least three of the top five magazine media companies will launch new ink on paper magazines that will create a new buzz in the magazine media field.
2. At least three new magazines launched by individual entrepreneurs will take the industry by storm simply because these folks have a strong belief in the power of print in a digital age.
3. Media reporters will stop using press releases as issued by different measuring companies and start doing some actual reporting and interviewing before reporting numbers issued via press releases.
4. The old and trusted media publications such as Ad Age, Ad Week and Folio will go back to their old formats of informing their readers with everything related to the magazine media world as they did in the 1980s and beyond. WWD, the fashion publication, is becoming the go-to publication for media scoops and media reporting. As much as I love the magazine, I hate it that a fashion publication is doing a much better job covering the media business than the media publications themselves.
5. I wish 2016 to be the year that I do not receive an offer to subscribe to a magazine for $2 or $5 regardless of the reason for that cheap subscription.
6. I also hope that no magazine is going to email me an offer asking me to shift from the print subscription to the digital one. If folks don’t know by now that print is my medium of choice, I do not know when they will know it.
7. I look for the day where my weeklies are starting to look like monthlies on a weekly basis: heavier paper, better printing and more in depth articles.
8. While book-a-zines are continuing their invasion of the newsstands, I hope that we will see a slow down in those book-a-zines because they are starting to impact the sales of regular magazines. Who can afford to pay $13 for a book-a-zine and then buy two or three other magazines?
9. I wish for a new magazine distribution system to be put into place with magazine publishers and retailers working together with national distributors and wholesalers to reinvent the whole process and not just to renovate it.
10. As an educator, I hope that journalism schools around the nation will go back to focusing on the fundamentals of journalism: reporting, writing, editing and critical thinking, instead of just teaching the toys of new media. Remember when the typewriter was new media? We did not teach students typing… they learned in some other school.
11. The NEED for Journalism (with a capital J), the credible, created and curated kind, returns to the forefront of the discussion when it comes to the future of newspapers, newsmagazines, and print in general.
12. I wish for those who pretend to know everything about the future of newspapers and magazines to take some time to keep their opinions to themselves. I need not remind them every time that there are only two people who can tell you the future: God and a Fool.
13. I wish for those people who are in the media business to recognize that there is no problem with the technologies called INK and PAPER, the problem is rather with what you’re putting on that ink on paper.
So, in short, these are my wishes for the new year. I will keep you posted as each wish comes true, so stay tuned and have a wonderful, prosperous, healthy and peaceful 2016.
All the best,
Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, Ph.D.
P.S.: The Mr. Magazine™ Manifesto… Look for my Mr. Magazine™ Sixth Manifesto in the January 11, 2016 issue of min: media industry newsletter.