Most of those titles are boring. Editorial direction is dictated by marketing needs, so content is designed to keep the advertisers happy rather than to attract and stimulate readers. The result is that readers are bored, they don’t buy the bland products on offer. And so the advertisers pull out.


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  1. In the UK at least, the magazines that I used to buy (and that was quite a few) eventually became huge wads of glossy sheaves of advertisements with small articles squeezed in between them. Eventually I just stopped buying..

  2. @Peter Garner, Hah, Hilarious, I remember vividly in 2001 “discussing” with the then managing editor at a Conde Nast magazine, London, how they justified paying a photographer Β£150 a page (inclusive of all expenses) whilst charging their advertisers absurd thousands for the privilege of sitting opposite it.

    Her answer was that “I (the photographer) was paying to sit next to their advert”

    I asked if her readers bought the magazine to read stories or adverts ?

    Apparently you bought them to read the stories – who’d of thought ????

  3. “You can rob me. You can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don’t bore me!”
    — Gunnery Sgt. Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood), Heartbreak Ridge

  4. Yup – similar to why stock photography is so uninspiring. True?

  5. “So. The current wisdom is that journalism is in crisis because advertisers don’t advertise.”

    I don’t think anybody, apart from a lazy journalist, would put it as simplistically as this.

  6. I can think of two magazines that I used to buy nearly every month, both from the US. They were full of great content and I would read them end-to-end. Then they started to change. More ads, fewer features, diluted ‘advertorial’ product / gear reviews. One day I just stopped buying them.

  7. On the photography side….

    The bean counters decided they’d slash costs and that digital photography was easy and cheap so they drew up restrictive contracts to grab our rights and decided to make us jump through hoops to get paid.

    They ended up having to hire the noobs and the desperate who threw in all-rights for peanuts and guess what? They produced crap photography.

    No shit Sherlock.

    Once a magazine brand starts cost-cutting by squeezing it’s regular suppliers so hard it’s just not worth the effort to do the gigs the quality suffers, the readership declines and so does the ad-revenue.

    A big festering vicious circle which started when magazines just looked at profits and not the *quality* of their content. It was the content that the quality providers supplied which attracted the readers and advertisers in the first place; and ultimately gave them the profits they wanted to increase.

    Bit like a race car team putting remould tyres on to save money and losing the race.

    Do these people go to business school?


  8. Indeedee….most mags are glorified junk mail….So unless you’re into coupons why buy them…

  9. Isn’t it only photographers that buy magazines these days?

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