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Industry Magazines in the Covid Age

Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 3:19 PM

In the news: How are industry magazines evolving to serve the needs of their readers at this critical juncture?

Industry magazines are adapting on the fly as the publishing industry absorbs the blows of the Covid-19 pandemic. Greg Dool of Foliomag.com sums up the challenges these magazines are facing: "Publishers of all sizes have been forced to make important decisions quickly to adapt to the moment and remain valuable to their readers, especially those whose magazines serve professionals in explicitly defined industries, many of which are facing unprecedented disruptions of their own."

And the focus isn't just on content planning and audience development. Many magazine professionals are having to adapt to their teleworking arrangements and resultant feelings of isolation, which Zoom meetings can do only so much to assuage. [C&En editor-in-chief Bibiana] Campos-Seijo tells Dool that "the shift to remote work has been relatively smooth.... Video conferencing has been useful not just for productivity, but for ensuring staffers' mental wellbeing and maintaining a sense of camaraderie that publishers can't afford to lose in all of the commotion. In addition to Zoom happy hours ... the C&EN team has had a Zoom graduation party, and even three Zoom baby showers."

Read more about the pandemic's effect on industry magazines here.

Also Notable

Adjusted Issue Schedules This Fall

Some glossy fashion magazines are adjusting their release schedules for the upcoming fall issues. "Some publishers are pushing back the release dates of their most crucial issues of the year from August to September, allowing more time for ads and samples to roll in," reports Kathryn Hopkins of Women's Wear Daily. "It will also give editors additional time to shoot models and celebrities." In other words, September issues of some fashion magazines will actually come out in September. Read more here.

"Presenteeism": A Burgeoning Epidemic?

In a recent Digiday.com piece, Shareen Pathak examines the pressure editors and other publishing professionals are feeling to be present at all times throughout, and beyond, the workday. "If your boss can't see you feverishly working, did you even log a 60-hour week?" she muses. "For many, it means showing up, figuratively, if not literally." Some editors told Pathak that they were bringing their phones to the bathroom so as not to miss office communications, and others were pressured by supervisors to attend "optional" video happy hours and meetings. As the Washington Post recently reported and Pathak notes, some companies are going so far as to spy on their teleworking employees with various software programs and through webcams. All this is creating a culture of fear and anxiety that is taking its toll on editors as they adjust to their new work-from-home realities. Read more here.

Editor and Journalist Rights During Protests

The arrests of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and two of his colleagues on live television in Minneapolis this week has brought journalist rights during protests into sharp focus. In a 2014 piece originally geared toward the Ferguson protests and reprinted this week in response to the Minnesota protests, Kristen Hare of Poynter.org provides a crucial primer for journalists and editors covering demonstrations and civil unrest, highlighting constitutional rights and legal protections for the media in these situations. Read it here.

2020 National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media

The National Magazine Awards were held via livestream, on Thursday, May 28. Top winners were The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, and Bon Appétit, reports Sara Guaglione of MediaPost.com. Per Guaglione, ASME intends to hold an in-person ceremony to honor the winners later this year and awards will be mailed to the winners. Read more here.

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