The title of this article may seem a little ironic considering our humble online blog has replaced the printed monthly edition of Campden Clippings but nonetheless the death of magazines and newspapers is a topic that should interest us all – maybe even scare us a little.
The reason the decline in print magazines is so heart-breaking for me is that the indie and rock ‘n’ roll music magazine I grew up with, NME, is closing down its print edition after 66 years of being in circulation. There’s no doubt that everyone saw it coming after the magazine stopped being a paid title in 2015 and yet music lovers and artists around the world mourn the popular magazine’s departure from the newspaper stands. But what has caused this tragic loss? Surely if the mag had so many fans it would get enough profit to still be on the shelves? Sadly not, so due to digitalisation.
Digitalisation sounds like a mythical term only used in media studies but it very much affects the world we live in and is possibly to blame for The NME, Glamour, The Independent, Buenos Aires Herald and many other beloved newspapers and magazines going out of print. With everything online, these days it’s not only cheap as chips but also quicker to access information via our phones rather than trekking down to the news agents to grab the papers. In fact I don’t even know if news agents exist anymore…
It may sound like I’m being melodramatic. The content still exists just online in an easy accessible way so what’s the issue right? The issue is that it’s causing thousands of journalists to lose work as there’s no longer a need for such a large team, meaning for young writers it’s more difficult to get a career in the field. Maybe there’s a way to stop this monstrosity, maybe there’s not, but either way we can support the industry by every now and then spending a little loose change on our favourite music mags or a good quality newspaper (cough cough The Guardian).