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A Future for Print Magazines

Posted on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM

In the news: A recent Atlantic article asks whether or not print magazines can save themselves.

There's no question that digital drove the magazine publishing conversation in 2013. We've always tried to strike a balance between print and digital coverage in our monthly news roundup, but it was a challenge this year. There was some bad news for print magazines this year, and that paired with the continued hype over digital magazines helped to bury some of the good news (e.g., some online-only publications developing print editions this year and, as discussed below, the recent successes of hobby magazines).

This month, The Atlantic asked if print magazines could be saved, particularly given an industry-wide trend away from print advertising. It's a tough road, but the article argues that print magazines can survive if they offer high-quality content and consider raising subscription rates. Ultimately, the article concludes that there is still a place for print because "digital delivery, which we regard as indispensable, is expensive." Read the entire article here.

Also Notable

Hobby Magazines

Not all magazine sectors struggled in 2013. According to a December 27 New York Times article, hobby magazines are doing remarkably well thanks to subscription rate increases, loyal readers, and modest circulation growth. Some hobby magazines have been so successful that they've added editors to their payroll. Does this recent success mark a shift away from general interest magazines toward niche titles? Read more here.

New York Times Sunday Magazine Shakeup

The New York Times will assess strategy before hiring a new editor for its Sunday magazine, says a December 19 HuffingtonPost.com article. Last month, editor Hugo Lindren announced that he would leave his editorial post at the end of the year. Senior Times editors will spend about three months deliberating strategy and purpose before naming Lindren's successor. Read more about Lindren's exit and the search for his replacement here and here.

Spoof Magazine Editing

This month, two websites re-edited a BBC news story about Syria from a different editorial perspective to highlight some of the overediting that happens at both women's and men's magazines. These re-edits have left some editors laughing and others shaking their heads. Read the original, "What If a Women's Magazine Editor Edited a BBC News Story About Syria?", here. Read another take, "What If a Men's Magazine Editor Edited a BBC News Story About Syria?", here.

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