Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair, loves magazines and he has little concern for their future.
Writing in MediaWeek, he says:
The reading business is not the same as the search-and-find business, and if you’re in the print version of the latter, on either a daily or a weekly basis, you have reason to be anxious…
The fact is that people still want great, well-told tales. We see it on vanityfair.com, where our longer articles routinely top the Most Popular list. We see it in the fact that our print circulation (both newsstand and subscriptions) is emphatically up at a time when everyone tells us it is supposed to be down.
You could argue that the magazine is as brilliant an invention as anything Apple will come up with. We take glorious stories, combine them with arresting photography, illustration and design, along with stunning advertising images, and bundle the whole thing into a package that is inexpensive, easy to use and available almost anywhere. (We’ll even deliver it to your door.) It can be passed on afterward or recycled. And you don’t need instructions or batteries.
I’m sure the Apple’s fan boys would differ with Carter, but I like his POV. It’s measured, calm and grounded in historical reality (not momentary hyperbole).