Archive for the ‘A Mr. Magazine™ Musing’ Category

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From The Roaring 1920s To The Storming 2020s… A Mr. Magazine™ New Year’s Musing…

December 31, 2019

Welcome to 2020… 

Whether it’s going to be the “Roaring ‘20s” again in the world of magazines and magazine media or the “Storming ’20s”, remains to be seen. But rest assured 2020 will go into the history books as the year of excellent vision, as you can see from my series of conversations with the movers and shakers of the magazine media industry (part 7 appearing Thursday Jan. 2)…

You know, Mr. Magazine™ had to bring this “vision thing” somewhere into the blog.  Now, that the  “2020 vision” pun is out of the way, and while we wait for this New Year to unfold, Mr. Magazine™ deduced that it would be apropos at the very beginning to look back 100 years to see where and what the world of print media was celebrating that first year of what would become the Roaring ‘20s.

Needless to say, Henry Luce, founder of Time Inc. and all of its many magazines, had proclaimed to his readers that the 20th century would be known as the “American Century,” and when he launched TIME Magazine in 1923, it was a manifestation of that 20th century and what was going on at the time.

I decided in this New Year’s musing to reflect back on two titles that were actually published in that first week of 1920, the leading weekly illustrated newspaper at that time, Leslie’s Weekly and from the trade side of the business, Campbell’s Courant, formerly The Optimist.

If we take a peek at these two magazines we will discover a couple of things: one, we will see how that really was the beginning of the “American Century,” by taking a look at what the (then) Secretary of the Interior, Franklin Lane, wrote in the editorial of that issue of Leslie’s Weekly, which you will find below verbatim, and we’ll also take a look at what the powers-that-be at Campbell’s Soup wrote in the introduction of their magazine.

However, everything wasn’t hunky-dory at the beginning of the Roaring ‘20s any more than they are today. But there was a hopefulness in the air after the end of WWI. And it was the end of the famed printer’s strike. And during that time, we must remember that print was the only mass media people had, so it was a very vital part when it came to receiving current information. So, anything that affected print, affected the mass population across the nation.

Leslie’s Weekly was happy to announce that after all the disruptions due to the printer’s strike in New York, that they were moving back to New York City from Chicago where they had been printing now that the strike was over, as you will read in an excerpt found below from the publishers.

And as we approach our own, hopefully, the 2020s will be more roaring than storming. Let us stride bravely into the New Year as our counterparts from yesteryear did, knowing that the industry we all love is strong and resilient. And as Mr. Magazine™ continues his conversations with the great magazine makers of today, we will see that their vision of the future is definitely 2020!

Leslie’s Weekly Jan. 10, 1920

Know America

By Secretary of the Interior Lane

As Edward Everett Hale used to pray, “Teach us to know that we are sons of the living God,” so I would pray also that we might know that we are sons of a living America. To know that is to know that we can solve our difficulties, answer our problems, and go on growing. For a living America is one that is not static, fixed, traditional, but one that is moving, living, growing, and therefore always ready for the day’s work. We have an American way of doing things, not a European way. Because we have an American conscience and an American sense of justice and an American common sense – these are our traditions and they are equal to any task.

Leslie’s Weekly, Jan. 10, 1920

To All Leslie’s Subscribers

The publishers of Leslie’s are pleased to announce that the strike of printers in New York and vicinity has ended in an amicable settlement and that the printing of Leslie’s has been resumed at the Charles Schweinler Press, from which we will receive the same prompt and efficient service that we have enjoyed for many years past

The strike made it necessary to place our work temporarily with a Chicago firm, and we were fortunate in not missing an issue during the strike, but the difficulties of manufacturing the paper more than one thousand miles from the office of publication were so enormous that our issues were unavoidably late in appearing. As it is a physical impossibility to gain the time lost, it has been found necessary to combine the issues of December 13th, 20th and 27th  into one large number; also to combine the issues of January 3rd and 10th, and the issues of January 17th and 24th. We will in this way resume delivery of papers to our subscribers on the regular schedule during the month of January.

To make up to the subscribers the issues missed by the combinations, all subscriptions will be automatically extended for four numbers beyond the normal expiration date. No correspondence on this subject will be necessary, and we would ask all of our subscribers to note carefully this announcement and to refrain from sending us unnecessary complaints at a time when the entire energies of our organization are being devoted to the restoration of the subscription service to its normal high standard.

Campbell’s Courant, Jan. 1920

To you, dear reader, our customer or business associate, in whose interest this publication was conceived and in whose service it has its being – to you, we earnestly and hopefully re-dedicate it. May “The Courant” prove a helpful and cheering friend during the New Year.

 

Until the next time…

See you at the newsstands…

Both today’s and the ones from yesteryear…

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Mr. Magazine™ Presents: Magazines and Magazine Media in 2019 & The Industry’s Projections For 2020…

December 13, 2019

It’s that time of the year again where Mr. Magazine™ reflects on what happened in magazines and magazine media in 2019 and then projects what will happen in the upcoming New Year 2020.

And while Mr. Magazine™ can tell you exactly how many new magazines were launched in 2019 and others can tell you how many magazines folded, I feel as an observer and student of the industry, the best place to learn about what went on this year and what’s expected to happen in 2020, is to go straight to the horse’s mouth, so to speak, and talk with the ones who would know; the movers and shakers of the industry.

From printing to distribution, from retailers to the corporate floors, Mr. Magazine™ presents a new end-of-the-year series entitled:

Magazines and Magazine Media in 2019 & The Industry’s Projected Future For 2020

The five objectives I hope to achieve from these informative interviews:

  1. As we approach 2020 each individual’s assessment of the future of magazines and magazine media…
  2. Three accomplishments or successes from 2019 for each company…
  3. What each considers to be the biggest challenge they had to face or will face…
  4. What their approach to the future business model of magazines and magazine media might be…
  5. Whether social media (in its many different platforms) is a friend or a foe to magazine media and why…

And there would be no Mr. Magazine™ interview without the traditional question at the end of the interview, “What keeps you up at night?”

So please check back on Monday, December 16, 2019, for the first installment of this new series where Mr. Magazine™ will talk to the heads of the magazine media companies and many other media professionals about the current status and future of the industry…

Until then, hope to see you at the newsstands where Mr. Magazine™ will be rounding up the new magazine launches of 2019.

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1919: A Pivotal Year For Magazines… A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

October 16, 2019

Mr. Magazine™ was relaxing in his vault recently when it dawned on him that the magazines of 1919 were looking back at him from all around the massive room. The faces of a century ago seemed to be channeling his psyche pointedly, beseeching him to tell their story. He stared back at them, turning slowly in a circle, absorbing their loud but silent pleas completely. And then he wrote this…

 The Year Was 1919

Reflecting the times has always been something that magazines do well; 100 years ago and today. The covers told the stories vividly. From Teddy Roosevelt on the cover of “The New Success,” to an editorial his son, Theodore Jr., wrote in “Our Boys” magazine, 1919 served as a year to remember in magazine history.

Highlights Of The Times

 In 1919, the first World War (or the Great War, as it was called back then) had just ended and the country was trying to absorb the effects, financially and emotionally. Woodrow Wilson was the leader of the free world and his dream of a League of Nations becomes a reality after the League Covenant is adopted at the Paris Peace Conference.

Also in 1919, a group of 19 magazine publishers from across the entire magazine publishing scene, from consumer to trade and farm publications, came together to form the National Association of Periodical Publishers, Inc., which later became MPA – The Association of Magazine Media.

The Role Of The Magazine

The role magazines played as experience makers was and still is remarkable. “Harper’s Bazaar,” for example, had its Christmas, 1919 edition, in which the magazine offered an invitation to its new and enlarged offices in the heart of fashionable Paris:

We cordially invite all Americans visiting on either pleasure or business to make these new Harper’s Bazar offices their Paris headquarters. Particularly do we wish to point out the advantages of consulting with our resident representatives there before embarking on shopping expeditions in fashion’s capital.  

In short, Harper’s Bazar was offering American newcomers to the city of Paris a verbal guide to the shops and couturiers of the city, advising Americans where to find what they wanted, how to get there, and even how much they should pay. A total experience with one of their favorite magazines, indeed.

When Magazines Ruled The Land

A century ago magazines ruled the land. From the mass general interest titles like “The Saturday Evening Post” and “The National Geographic Magazine” to the more specialized and niche publications such as “The Farm Journal” and “Field and Stream,” 100 hundred years ago the scepter of information and entertainment belonged to magazines.

And when it comes to specialty titles, niche magazines do not just belong to the 21st century. In 1919, there were singular topics covered on a regular basis in magazines: “Successful Farming,” “The American Legion Weekly,” “Photo-Era,” and the list goes on and on. So, being a niche magazine is not a new idea, it’s just a good idea that continues today.

Looking Good For Your Age

When something or someone lives to see 100 years or more, they know what the word longevity means. Magazines that have such a long heritage are indeed something very special. Today there are more than 50 print magazines that have flourished for more than 100 years.

From “Harper’s Bazaar” to “Scientific American,” “Good Housekeeping,” to “The Nation,” these legacy titles have become generational favorites over the years and each one of them are as relevant, informational and entertaining today as they were during the eras of their infancy. Magazines reflect our society no matter the year on the calendar. They always have and they always will.

When The Presses Stopped

Wanting higher wages and better hours in their work week, local unions in New York City made their demands clear in 1919 to their international unions, closing every magazine printing establishment in New York City by striking. The end result was magazines that were late being delivered and in some cases, not being delivered at all, such as with the November issue of Harper’s Bazar:

Harper’s Bazar, December, 1919

 In not publishing a November number, Harper’s Bazar skipped an issue for the first time in fifty-one years. This unprecedented occurrence was a result of the stand taken by New York Publishers in their controversy with the radical local printers who went on strike in defiance of the orders of their international unions. Even at the sacrifice of one of our most important issues of the year, Harper’s Bazar believed it necessary to stand together with all other New York Publishers in resisting the tyrannical demands of certain irresponsible leaders who were disowned by their own international unions and the American Federation of Labor. Subscribers will receive, instead of their November issues, one more number after the date on which their subscriptions would ordinarily expire.

And read the ad from the Periodical Publisher’s Association of America that appeared in the November issue of The National Geographic Magazine:

The Reason Why Magazines Published In New York City Will Be Late

Differences between certain local unions and their international unions have closed every magazine printing establishment in New York City. Some of the local unions have retained their membership in their international union, while the pressmen, feeders, and paper handlers have seceded and struck. These local unions demand a 32½ to 44- hour week and an increase of $14 per week, with double and triple pay for overtime, to take effect immediately. The international unions contend that the men should return to work and the entire matter be left to arbitration.

The publishers of the magazines meanwhile must suspend publication until the unions fight out their differences. This means “Collier’s Weekly,” “McClure’s,” “Pictorial Review,” “Cosmopolitan,” “Hearst’s Magazine,” “Harper’s Bazar,” “Good Housekeeping,” “Harper’s Magazine,” “Metropolitan,” “Scribner’s Magazine,” “Century,” “Munsey’s,” “Popular,” “Delineator,” “Everybody’s Magazine,” “McCall’s,” “Popular Science Monthly,” “Vogue,”  “Vanity Fair,” “Motion Picture Magazine,”, and 152 others, as well as many of the largest trade papers in the country, will not appear on time as usual.

Some of the publishers are making plans to remove their plants from New York to other places, and many Western cities are bidding vigorously to induce these publishers to consider their particular localities. Three very large publications have already completed plans for permanent removal, and their printing machinery and paper supply are now being shipped to Chicago.

The millions of readers of the publications affected by the strike are requested to be patient and to refrain from writing the publishers concerning delays in receipt of magazines. It will be only a question of a short time until the presses will again be running.

(Signed): Periodical Publisher’s Association of America.

NEW YORK CITY, October 10, 1919

The times were difficult, but magazines stayed strong.

Audience First

Putting the reader first was always important to magazines, even in 1919  and remains the mantra today. A magazine that was the backbone of what is now the Meredith Corporation, “Successful Farming” proudly stated it was for: the busy, practical working farmers of America whose interests determine its policy. The magazine published in the interest of the reader. And you can’t argue with that statement. If you don’t take care of your readers, your publication will not know success. It was true in 1919 and it’s still true today. Without your audience, what do you have? A nice book of information that no one is interested in.

Mr. Magazine™ Reflects…

Suffice it to say that 100 years have passed since 1919. Many things have changed; many things. However, some things haven’t. Information, entertainment, niche brands, and the most exquisite experiences can all still be found in magazines. That is a fact that has not, and will not ever change. Magazines and Mr. Magazine™ himself, if I may be so bold as to toot my own horn, are staunch advocates for the print experience. Both of us love to inform, entertain and create inimitable happenings in people’s lives that no pixels can recreate. Seeing us both in the flesh is quite the experience. And you know what they say… if it’s true, it ain’t bragging.

Until the next time…

Mr. Magazine™ will see you at the newsstands, somewhere between today and the portals of the past…

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The iPhones Of The 1950s: Yesterday’s Newsstands Bring You Surprises & A Glimpse Into The Future…

October 3, 2019

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

In my research, I discovered a genre of magazines that has technically been ignored. I haven’t seen anything really written about them that give this group of magazines the credit that they deserve. These magazines would have to be described as the “iPhones” of the 1950s. They are the size of a shirt pocket and they were touted as such, “pocket-sized” titles, small enough for men to carry in their shirt pockets or women to carry in their purses. The amazing thing is that even in the 1950s, magazine makers realized that people needed information on-the-go, and if you think about it, these magazines actually blazed the trail for the technology we have today.

In fact, in March 2001, Glamour burst onto newsstands in the U.K. with its own pocket-sized version, promoted as the magazine that “fits into your life and your handbag,” and it was an immediate hit. But long before the 21st century, magazines of this convenient and mobile size were in the marketplace.

I was able to find 53 pocket-sized titles that covered the gamut when it came to topics. From the newsweekly, a magazine called Quick that was launched by Look magazine, and of course, everyone knows that Look magazine was one of the trio that ruled the magazine industry in the 1940s and the 1950s: Life, Look and The Saturday Evening Post. People are more familiar with those three titles during that era than any of the other magazines.

So, Look launched this weekly magazine called Quick, which was a newsweekly that fit into your shirt pocket or purse. When Quick folded, the staff of that magazine took over and launched another magazine called Tempo, then later on Tempo and Quick merged.

These titles were a personification of the entire magazine industry and the pop culture of that era. They did exactly what digital is doing today, making one’s pocket or purse an outlet for information and the news of the moment. And in the 1950s, those magazines provided the same thing.

And the information and news they provided was diverse, from Adonis, the art magazine of the male physique to TV Life, which provided people with the latest TV news, people and pictures, and then just everything in between. Sports, celebrities; even Jet magazine, which many people are familiar with today, was part of that genre, and between Jet and The Negro Review, they served the African American audience well. There was the Pocket Celebrity Scrapbook, which gave complete details about the celebrities of the day, such as Nat King Cole and Marilyn Monroe.

However, these titles didn’t shy away from any topic. There were no taboos, although there were a lot of topics that would be considered today not politically correct. Whether it was homosexuality, sex outside the marriage or sex inside the marriage, stories about the dangers of the birth control pill, stories criticizing baseball and stories praising baseball, tales of the world’s most provocative women and tales about the ideal physique for men.

If you look at the titles from the poster I created of these 53 magazines, you will see the variety of the subject matter. From humor to the most serious of topics, these magazines reflected society in their time. That’s why I’ve always said that magazines are the best reflectors of society, no matter what era one may live in. There is nothing that compares to magazines when it comes to mirroring pop culture in the world we live in.

 

So, enjoy a glimpse of these great covers from the 1950s and keep on reading magazines, for you never know what you might encounter along the way.

Until the next time…

Mr. Magazine™ will see you at the newsstands, somewhere between today and the portals of the past…

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Less Than 15 Years Since Its Introduction: Americans Are Already Wary Of The Role Social Media Plays In Delivering The News – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Elisa Shearer, Lead Research Associate, Pew Research Center…

October 2, 2019

“When you ask if you think that they (social media) are prioritizing companies that have high reporting standards, for example, or are well-established, maybe from older platforms like print, a lot fewer people see those types of organizations being emphasized on social media. Granted, that’s the public’s view of what’s happening, but they definitely don’t see that when they’re turning to these platforms. They’re seeing  a lot of content from companies that aren’t necessarily well-established or that don’t have super-high reporting standards.”…Elisa Shearer

 

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

It took years, hundreds of years in the case of print and ink on paper,  before people were wary of the role newspapers, magazines, and even television play in delivering the news to their audience.  However, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center, people are wary of the role social media plays in delivering the news, a platform that is less than 15 years old.  While people are turning more and more to social media, they’re not exactly placing their full trust in the resources they find there.

I reached out to Elisa Shearer, lead research associate in the study, and she gave me some very interesting background and statistics on what they found during this eye-opening research study.

Elisa said that while people do use social media for their news, it’s not necessarily for its validity. Convenience, quickness, and the fact that breaking information can usually be found in a matter of seconds after it happens, would appear to be some of the main reasons people gravitate toward their social media when it comes to consuming news.

It’s a very interesting study that shows quite a few insights into our fascination and often obsession with logging into all things social media when it comes to educating ourselves about what’s going on in the world.

So, I hope that you enjoy this Mr. Magazine™ interview with Elisa Shearer, lead research associate on this study, Pew Research Center. I think you’ll be amazed and somewhat surprised.

But first the sound-bites:

On whether the fact that more and more people are using social media for news, yet they’re  wary of it, surprised her: Actually, no, we have seen something like that before. Last year we saw the majority of social media news users who thought that the news they were going to see was largely inaccurate. But when we asked about the reasons why they were using social media for news, a lot of them cited the convenience; they liked interacting with people; it was useful for getting breaking news, so we know some of the reasons that people are turning to these sources even though they’re very pessimistic about it.

 On whether the rift we’re seeing in our country is also reflected in social media: That’s an interesting question. Thinking about the role this kind of pessimism, about the role social media companies are playing; you see 62 percent of Americans saying that these social media companies have too much control; 55 percent say that what these companies are doing results in a worse mix of news. You do see a party break there, where Republicans are more skeptical about these things; 75 percent of Republicans say that social media companies have too much control, for example. That’s more than the Democrats who say that.

On why she feels there is this big dependency on social media: We’ve compared the trust that people have in national news organizations and local news organizations. For example, the trust that they have with the news that they get from social media, and the trust of those national and local news organizations; it’s much higher with the national and local news sources than with the news they get from social media.

On whether she is concerned by the fact that many people who are aged 65 + aren’t big social media users: Based on the different platforms that people are going to, there is a lot of large age differences in the people who are getting news from TV, for example. This is from 2018, only 8 percent of the 65 + are getting news from social media, but also a lot of the growth in the online news that we’ve seen recently has been led by those 50 and older.

 On whether she is concerned by the status of news today based on her research: I don’t usually speak to my personal concern, but we have been seeing really interesting changes in the way that people are getting news. Last year, the percent of those who get their news consumption from social media often has just surpassed those who get their news from print newspapers often. But also I see a lot of consistency, so I’m tracking social media news here right now. We’ve seen a lot of growth over the past couple of years, but at the same time overall, television is still the most commonly-used platform for news.

On whether the question has come up during her research of why people use social media so much if they’re wary of it: Yes, we have asked that question, but people typically say that it’s very convenient. They’re going to social media sites for a different reason and the news just kind of shows up there. Or that they go there when there’s breaking information, they will go to Twitter, for example. And people have said that they enjoy interacting with people, they enjoy the speed that they get to news, and they enjoy the fact that it’s up-to-date. That’s from a study that we did last year.

On if her research might indicate there is still hope for ink on paper publications when it comes to news: I can’t speak to that directly. We asked people about their sense of what types of organizations are being prioritized by social media companies. Most people say that they know that social media companies are treating some news organizations differently than others. And most people said they kind of see them prioritizing companies that produce attention-grabbing articles or that have a lot of social media followers.

On what she hopes the general public will take away from this study: Great question. People have a lot of different concerns with news on social media, one-sided news, inaccurate news; both of those things are named as a very big problem by about half of the public. There’s also a number of other problems that people named; 35 percent said they disliked the uncivil discussions about the news on social media; 27 percent said that they’re concerned about harassment of journalists; 24 percent said they’re concerned about news organizations being banned, for example. So, I hope that the general public who are reading the study will see part of their own experience reflecting in the figures and be able to think about that more clearly.

On anything she’d like to add: It is interesting that we haven’t seen a lot of growth in social media news use from about 2016. The percent of news gotten in 2016 there often was 18 percent; 20 percent in 2017; 20 percent in 2018. And this year it increased to 28 percent, so 28 percent of Americans are getting their news from social media often. And 55 percent of Americans get news from social media often or sometimes. So, that’s a growth that we’ve seen in the past year.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Elisa Shearer, lead research associate, Pew Research Center.

 Samir Husni: People are using more and more social media, yet they are wary of social media when it comes to delivering news. Was that a big surprise to you?

Elisa Shearer: Actually, no, we have seen something like that before. Last year we saw the majority of social media news users who thought that the news they were going to see was largely inaccurate. But when we asked about the reasons why they were using social media for news, a lot of them cited the convenience; they liked interacting with people; it was useful for getting breaking news, so we know some of the reasons that people are turning to these sources even though they’re very pessimistic about it.

Samir Husni: Do you feel that this rift we’re seeing in our country is also reflected in social media?

Elisa Shearer: That’s an interesting question. Thinking about the role this kind of pessimism, about the role social media companies are playing; you see 62 percent of Americans saying that these social media companies have too much control; 55 percent say that what these companies are doing results in a worse mix of news. You do see a party break there, where Republicans are more skeptical about these things; 75 percent of Republicans say that social media companies have too much control, for example. That’s more than the Democrats who say that.

But what’s interesting to me is that even though Republicans are a little bit more pessimistic about this, about half of the Democrats are giving these kind of negative answers. So, 52 percent of Democrats say that the companies have too much control; 49 percent of Democrats and lean Democrats say that these actions result in a worse mix of news.

Samir Husni: Why do you think there’s this big dependency on social media? Do you feel that the legacy news organizations have given up or they just can’t do anything about it?

Elisa Shearer: We’ve compared the trust that people have in national news organizations and local news organizations. For example, the trust that they have with the news that they get from social media, and the trust of those national and local news organizations; it’s much higher with the national and local news sources than with the news they get from social media.

Another thing to consider is that in a different study that we did, we asked people in real time whether they were getting news online. And after they got that news by clicking on a link, we asked them to write down the name of the source of that link. So, a lot of those were from social media. They would click on a link and we’d ask them to name the organization that they ended up on. And people could only provide an answer about half of the time. I think one thing to consider is that a lot of times social media news consumers aren’t even aware or they don’t remember the name of the actual organizations they’re consuming from. We know a lot of the news on social media sites comes from legacy news organizations, like The New York Times dotcom, CNN; they all have a social media presence too.

But there’s kind of a disconnect between people’s awareness of where that news is coming from when they’re getting it from a place like Facebook or Twitter.

Samir Husni: As a researcher, are you worried that when you look at the numbers and you find that the majority of the people who are aged 65 +, which there is almost 72 million of them in this country, are not big users of social media? Is that adding to the divide in the country between the baby boomers and everybody else?

Elisa Shearer: Based on the different platforms that people are going to, there is a lot of large age differences in the people who are getting news from TV, for example. This is from 2018, only 8 percent of the 65 + are getting news from social media, but also a lot of the growth in the online news that we’ve seen recently has been led by those 50 and older.

 Samir Husni: Looking at one of the graphics in the report, it’s funny that it’s only Facebook and Twitter when it comes to the more mature people. 

Elisa Shearer: That graphic isn’t telling you that 24 percent of 50 to 64 year olds get news on Facebook, what it’s telling you is that 24 percent of Facebook’s news users are 50 to 64. Snapchat and Reddit are definitely the sites where the news consumers who view are a lot younger.

Samir Husni: If someone asks you if you’re concerned about the status of news in our country based on your research, what would you say?

Elisa Shearer: I don’t usually speak to my personal concern, but we have been seeing really interesting changes in the way that people are getting news. Last year, the percent of those who get their news consumption from social media often has just surpassed those who get their news from print newspapers often. But also I see a lot of consistency, so I’m tracking social media news here right now. We’ve seen a lot of growth over the past couple of years, but at the same time overall, television is still the most commonly-used platform for news.

So, we’re tracking these new ways that people are getting news and all the ways that’s changing, but a lot of the stuff, like the dependency on television, we just did a big study on local news and local TV, a lot of that kind of environment hasn’t changed that much.

Samir Husni: Have you asked yourself, if people are so wary of social media, why are they using it more?

Elisa Shearer: Yes, we have asked that question, but people typically say that it’s very convenient. They’re going to social media sites for a different reason and the news just kind of shows up there. Or that they go there when there’s breaking information, they will go to Twitter, for example. And people have said that they enjoy interacting with people, they enjoy the speed that they get to news, and they enjoy the fact that it’s up-to-date. That’s from a study that we did last year.

So, we’ve asked that question because so many people do kind of expect it to be inaccurate, they’re concerned about inaccuracies, they’re concerned about biased news on those platforms, but they like the fact that it’s convenient and that it can come to them quickly.

Samir Husni: Based on this research, does this give hope to the print publications, to the newsweeklies, to newspapers, there is still room for ink on paper publications when it comes to news? Or news on paper is an oxymoron now?

Elisa Shearer: I can’t speak to that directly. We asked people about their sense of what types of organizations are being prioritized by social media companies. Most people say that they know that social media companies are treating some news organizations differently than others. And most people said they kind of see them prioritizing companies that produce attention-grabbing articles or that have a lot of social media followers.

When you ask if you think that they are prioritizing companies that have high reporting standards, for example, or are well-established, maybe from older platforms like print, a lot fewer people see those types of organizations being emphasized on social media. Granted, that’s the public’s view of what’s happening, but they definitely don’t see that when they’re turning to these platforms. They’re seeing  a lot of content from companies that aren’t necessarily well-established or that don’t have super-high reporting standards.

 Samir Husni: What do you want the public to take away from this study?

Elisa Shearer: Great question. People have a lot of different concerns with news on social media, one-sided news, inaccurate news; both of those things are named as a very big problem by about half of the public. There’s also a number of other problems that people named; 35 percent said they disliked the uncivil discussions about the news on social media; 27 percent said that they’re concerned about harassment of journalists; 24 percent said they’re concerned about news organizations being banned, for example. So, I hope that the general public who are reading the study will see part of their own experience reflecting in the figures and be able to think about that more clearly.

 Samir Husni: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Elisa Shearer: It is interesting that we haven’t seen a lot of growth in social media news use from about 2016. The percent of news gotten in 2016 there often was 18 percent; 20 percent in 2017; 20 percent in 2018. And this year it increased to 28 percent, so 28 percent of Americans are getting their news from social media often. And 55 percent of Americans get news from social media often or sometimes. So, that’s a growth that we’ve seen in the past year.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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“Is Print Media Obsolete?” – “Can You Physically Feel, Smell Or Touch The Internet?” Question Answered.

September 27, 2019

I bought the latest issue of Centennial Media’s Flea Market Home & Living recently, a magazine filled with great ideas and gorgeous images. And when I came upon the Editor’s Letter of this issue, as usual, as I do with all my magazines, I couldn’t wait to read it. The question was put out there that everyone in the industry may have asked themselves at one point in time: “Is Print Media Obsolete?” I was blown away by the eloquence and truth of Editor in Chief, Lisa Marie Hart’s answer, comparing a beautiful ink on paper publication to a weekend flea market overflowing with “great old stuff.” As I held the magazine in my hand and read her words, I knew what she was saying. That while many today may still think print is dead or dying, the proof is in the “paper,” so to speak. You can’t replace experiencing an intriguing flea market on a beautiful Saturday morning with just visiting a website. Same goes for experiencing a lustrous ink on paper magazine, pixels just can’t compare! Print Media will never be obsolete!

From the Editor

Since the mid-1990s, when I graduated as a magazine journalism major, there have been times we’ve all wondered, “Is print media obsolete?” When the dot.com boom arrived, and a fallen economy forced iconic magazines to publish their final issues, we feared the worst.

All for naught. We’ve learned that beautiful publications printed on real paper – just like weekend flea markets bursting with displays of great old stuff – can’t be replaced by online reading or shopping. As humans, we innately respond to the sense of touch.

At its best, the internet widens our perspective, reveals the heritage of antique finds and forges authentic connections.

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The Collectability Factor of the Magazine Cover – Try & Claim That With Digital…

September 9, 2019

Want to see my picture on the cover

(Stone)Wanna’ buy five copies for my mother (yes)

(Stone)Wanna’ see my smilin’ face

On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

…Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

 A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

Attention getting, brand making, sometimes controversial, but above all – inspiring; magazine covers are the gateway into a publication’s inner sanctum: its contents. And as the good Dr. Hook sang in Cover of the Rolling Stone, seeing one’s face on the front of a magazine can be Utopia for a celebrity’s career, even if it’s a controversial cover. After all, if it ignites a firestorm of conversation about the person or the object on that front door, what could be better? Actual ink on paper legitimizes in a way that digital just can’t. With the open-door policy of digital, you can find just about anyone or anything online, but I can promise you that my third cousin, twice-removed, will not be on the cover of People magazine…unless of course, he sweeps Miley Cyrus away from her latest “till death do us part.” And that ain’t happening.

And the second line of the song’s chorus: Wanna’ buy five copies for my mother – well, that’s something else to consider. There is nothing more intoxicating than the collectability factor of an ink on paper magazine and its cover. Granted, you can find just about any and all magazine covers and their contents online, but Mr. Magazine™ is positive that a generation from now, you won’t find them still waiting on you to revisit. Collectability is a leg-up for print that cyberspace just can’t compete with.

Take the current issue of Women’s Health, for example. Julianne Hough is the cover star of the Women’s Health Naked Strength issue and appears on five different covers of the magazine’s September issue. The actress, singer, and America’s Got Talent judge, saw this as a transformational year for her and decided to commemorate it with the magazine photo shoot. It’s monumental for her and her fans, and monumental for Women’s Health, since there are five different covers for those fans and fans of the magazine to collect. It’s a win-win situation for all.

Men’s Health decided its Fall 2019 Guide to Style needed to showcase Tom Brady in two different covers, front and back, with different cover lines for subscribers and for the newsstands. The quarterback for the New England Patriots has never had more collectability value than on these great covers.


Publishers have realized that there’s more to the front door of the book these days than merely creating a dynamic one-only magazine cover. Just like the collectability of the posters of yesteryear within titles like Tiger Beat and Teen Beat; magazine covers can become that addictive to collect, because people love to attain all of an item, especially if they know there’s more than one out there to get.

 

The September issue of Good Housekeeping is celebrating the 110th anniversary of its Seal of Approval, with four different covers. And for GH fans, this will be epic, collecting and sharing each of these covers among its communities.

The Source, the original hip hop website and magazine, published a two-cover Special Edition recently called “The Future” issue, and in The Source’s case, both covers are numbered with either 1 of 2 or 2 of 2, so there’s no mistaking for fans how many collectables are out there.

Magazine covers have always been the selling point of a publication to its audience, but today with digital able to provide fingertip content, the covers are even more valuable. They give your ink on paper publication something digital can’t: they give it in-your-face, tactile collectability. And that’s very valuable.

Until next time…see you at the newsstands

Mr. Magazine™ will be there collecting covers…

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