Going Digital: The Demise of Print Magazines

Teen Vogue cover

In October, British Glamour announced that their print magazine would be reduced to just two issues a year, with a greater focus on their digital offerings. Earlier in September, Nylon announced the decision to become digital-only and Teen Vogue’s print editions are also being axed. In 2016, British InStyle ceased printing and prior to that numerous British titles closed their doors or became digital-only.

While I understand that the way we’re consuming media these days is changing, this leaves me saddened at the thought that our worlds are becoming increasingly digital. Now don’t get me wrong – I’ve adapted to Netflix and Hulu, not feeling like I’m missing anything by not having access to actual television channels, but print media is different, sacred even. I cut my teeth in print, and even though I now work in a digital role, I love nothing more than curling up with a pile of magazines or a good book on a Sunday afternoon

Working in the digital realm means that I want less screen time when I get home, not more. I want the glossy cover, the feel of a weighty September issue in my hands. I want a bedfellow that won’t glare at me or prevent me from sleeping properly and yes, I want that tiny tube of free mascara or hand cream. I’m the same way with books – I completely get the lure of a Kindle (lugging a hardback around in one’s tote bag is essentially a one-way ticket to the chiropractor) but there’s nothing quite like scouting out the shelves of my local bookshop or picking up a dog-eared copy of a Penguin Classic at the library. 

British magazines are often at the top of my wish list when friends and family are visiting (followed closely by Original Source lime shower gel) and I have a pile sitting on my desk waiting to be read as I type this. Although I no longer rip out inspirational images or my favourite articles, I still keep a stash of choice issues squirreled away in a cupboard, occasionally plucking one out to reread.

I think part of the appeal is that once you’ve finished a magazine, you’re done. Pop it in the recycling bin, add it to your collection or give it to a friend – it doesn’t matter – you’ve completed it. With digital publications, there is no back cover, no random back page featuring a statement accessory or a profile on a fascinating historical figure, just a scroll bar that never ends. There’s always another article to read, another rabbit hole to fall down, which in theory is great (more content!) but can also be a little anxiety-inducing, as there’s no end, no four week breather before the next issue is released.  

I’d love to know what you think about this one – am I out of my mind to be so sad? Do you enjoy digital content over analogue? LMK. Oh, and if you’re in the market for a new magazine to get your mitts on, Liv has some recommendations in this post.

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