On Magazines

As most of you would be aware, I have just started studying a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney. For as long as I can remember, it has been my dream to work in the magazine industry, and the two internships I’m currently undertaking are helping me to slowly make that dream a reality. 

But, to be starting a Media degree in 2013 is a disheartening thing. 

The print industry is dying a slow and painful death, and yet there seem to be more people than ever striving for the few jobs that exist. 

Today it was announced that Madison magazine is closing. The news comes just a month after Grazia shut its doors. In that same time frame, we have also said goodbye to Burke’s Backyard, and UFC. All of these titles were owned by Bauer Media (formerly ACP). There are rumours swirling that OK will also be closing in the next few months. It’s a scary time. 

For most people, this news is not important. After all, the main point of magazine closures is that people are getting their news and information online rather than by picking up an actual glossy. But, for those of us passionate about the media industry, it is a depressing state of affairs. 

I am just an intern. I work two days a week, for free, doing whatever I am needed to do. Sometimes this is research and writing. Mostly this is odd jobs and errands. But I love it. I love every second of it. I would work for free every single day if my parents didn’t believe in the importance of completing a degree.

I intern because I hope to one day be offered a paid role. But, I am nineteen. I have small amounts of work experience, and this here blog, but I am not qualified. I will not have a degree in my hand until the end of 2016. I am one of thousands questing for a dream place on a masthead. And now, with more and more magazines shutting their doors, we also have to compete with all those qualified and with actual experience. For every magazine that shuts its doors, there are qualified editors, features teams, beauty writers, fashion editors, entertainment writers, sub-editors, and even editorial coordinators, now job-searching just like the rest of us. So not only is the job seeking pool suddenly a lot fuller, the job pool is rapidly shrinking. There are more and more of us reaching for fewer and fewer roles. 

I am lucky. I am so very lucky, because I am an intern. I have contacts at a number of magazines. Out of the 100 people in my degree, there are only a minute number of us who could say that. I could possibly be the only one. And so I have an advantage. Doing work experience since I was 15 has helped me shove one toe through the door. But I’m still jumping to try and reach the first rung on the ladder dangling above my head. 

Every time my parents hear the news of another closing title, they look at me and shake their head with a disappointed smile. My extended family ask me why I don’t try and get a job in a guaranteed industry. Why I don’t become a teacher like my parents. 

And my answer to them is because I am passionate about writing. I am passionate about magazines. I am passionate about the media industry as a whole. And I know I am not the only one, and so I feel a responsibility to try and reach out and assist those who are still after physical magazines each month. Comso turned 40 this month (with a brilliant issue). Forty. That’s a lot of history, and it’s not the only one. DOLLY is 43, Cleo is 41, Girlfriend is 25. And we can’t just throw it all away because the internet is now a huge thing. After all, checking Mamamia every day is definitely not the same as picking up a huge new issue of your favourite magazine. We have to adapt, yes, but I believe there will always be a place for magazines in our lives. And I want to be a part of that more than I want anything else (except maybe to marry Nick Jonas, but that’s another issue entirely). 

What do you think? Is there a future in magazines? 

frangipani princess xoxo

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2 thoughts on “On Magazines

  1. I love magazines: i subscribe to Cosmo, cleo, and dolly, and then buy every issue of shop til you drop, women's fitness, frankie, delicious, Donna hay, super food ideas, healthy food guide, I think that's all?! And then I have friends who never read mags, and I honestly think they are missing out. I think you can love mags and read websites such as mamamia every day; I certainly do (along with a sizeable amount of other blogs) .

  2. I love this, I want to work in the industry as well so I hope it sticks around! Plus I'd rather physically have my favourite mag than read it online or on a tablet any day!

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