Barlow’s bang on


Jason Barlow, editor of Car magazine (one of my favourite magazines) nails the whole future-of-magazines thing in this month’s Editor’s Letter:

…in the process of migrating the elements which best suit the functionality of the Internet, we’ve decided to really concentrate on the things that only a magazine can deliver on. More than ever, Car is packed with long, beautifully written features, a news bulletin section that offers an insightful and analytical overview rather than just paying lip service to the month’s big issues, expertly crafted drive stories and definitive comparison tests, as well as provocative columns and heartfelt opinion. It also looks pretty good, and most of the photographs are in focus…

…in an era when everyone from Rupert Murdoch to my own mother is wondering if the magazine format might be on the way out, we’re saying no, it isn’t. Only people in crass Hollywood movies use laptops in bed, and most of us spend far too much time in front of PCs as it is.






0 responses to “Barlow’s bang on”

  1. I *do* use my laptop in bed, but then I’m overly fond of Sex & The City.

    Yes, I agree. magazines and websites with content are completely different media, implying completely different ways of reading and writing.

    Try reading in the bath…

  2. Miss K,

    Have you noticed how much of your comment appears in the comment-previewing bit at the top-right?

    Thank you, WordPress.

  3. Gary

    Haha, I love it when technology creates comedy…

    implying completely different ways of reading and writing.

    Definitely. I don’t know if other people get this, but after a protracted bit of online reading my brain hurts and my eyes swim. I don’t get that with print.

    It’s a trite observation I know, but ink on paper is the greatest interface ever invented.

  4. It’s refreshing to see an approach that places value on both internet and print. So often, when this is debated, people come out in favour of one or the other — “print is dead! no one reads mags!” vs “you can’t trust anything on the net! and it makes your eyes hurt!” — and seem unable to recognise that both have their individual advantages and disadvantages.

    Wow, that was a really badly constructed sentence :)

  5. Gary

    Yeah, good job you’re not in publishing. Erm…

    unable to recognise that both have their individual advantages and disadvantages

    I wonder how much of that is due to headline-making or columnist simplification? “The internet’s quite good but print’s good too” isn’t really “hold the front page!” stuff.

  6. I dunno, maybe that’s something to do with it. But there’s also a lot of head-in-the-sand thinking from some print editors, and more than a little gleeful old-media bashing from some of the web writers.

  7. Gary

    Yeah. It’s a bit like the blogging vs journalism thing: entrenched attitudes on both sides.

  8. What would be the Web equivalent of “Hold the front page!”, I wonder? “Don’t hit Refresh!” “Don’t close that FTP session!” “Point the right-hand iframe at this new URI!”