Magazines and Online Journalism

Paul Bradshaw has posted about the impact of the web on the magazine industry. He makes an important point about the way different magazines have responded in different ways. Some have moved more into the social networking side of things, or have provided the online infrastructure to access samples for particular micro-taste cultures:

It’s worth noting that some magazine sectors in particular – teen and music magazines, for instance – have really suffered, not because the journalism was bad, but because readers were able to get what they wanted from online sources, or because their media consumption patterns changed. People used to buy a music magazine to read the reviewers whose taste they trusted – but with mp3s, MySpace and peer recommendation it’s now easy to listen to any track you want, or to get recommendations from people who share your tastes.

What do you do? Well, NME has reinvented itself as an online community, mp3 and ticket shop and radio station, while teen mags are reinventing themselves as social networks with mobile features. So a major part of the way forward for magazines is about that culture and community that surrounds it, changing ways of communicating (e.g. mobile) and how you service that online.

SometinMagazines within the same genre, such as car enthusiast magzines, have responded in different ways and with various levels of urgency. For example, some magazines such as Fast Fours and Hot 4s have had proper online forums for about 6 years, while Street Machine magazine only introduced forums last year.