Thursday, September 17, 2009

Media Roundup: Vogue, Redesigns, Berlusconi, & More

This week's roundup of media news from the worlds of magazines and newspapers:

  • After enjoying The September Issue, the documentary about the making of Vogue's annual back-breaking mega-issue, I decided to purchase my first-ever copy of the magazine to see what it's really like. It took me more than a week to find a store that still had copies. I checked multiple Borders stores, a magazine shop, groceries and pharmacies that sell magazines -- all places I've seen the title before -- until I finally found a Safeway that still had a few copies.
  • The Vogue edition, which notes on its cover that it's "the REAL September Issue!", includes about 584 pages (you could fit 10.4285714 copies of the latest issue of my magazine in that page count), is three-quarters of an inch thick, has its first contents page on page 112 that jumps to page 126 that jumps to page 146 that jumps to page 176, and is heavy enough to be dropped by Predator drones on suspected terrorist hideouts in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • The Magazine Death Pool blog has its own fall preview. In its case, it's a preview of expected magazine deaths this autumn (when red ink will be the new black). You might quibble about some of their choices (after all, The New Republic has never been an advertising magnet), but it's at least snarky enough to perk up your morning caffeine intake.
  • What does an otherwise modern country look like when more than 90 percent of its residents don't read a newspaper? Italy. Architecture and food's great, but you get Silvio Berlusconi, a walking nightmare for good-government types (hey, I'm from Wisconsin). Financial Times has a good overview of the current political situation for the Italian prime minister and prospects (dim) for Italy coming to its senses. They might want to start by getting a subscription to the FT.
  • Folio: and the MPA report that magazine circulation has held up quite well in this media death season. It's advertising that hasn't pulled its weight. (Oh, how many times must I suggest that a few more magazines just think about rebalancing their revenue models to rely more on higher circulation revenue and less on advertising? Whatever.)
  • Samir Husni (aka Mr. Magazine) interviews Christianity Today's senior managing editor, Mark Galli, about the magazine's new redesign. Galli repeatedly notes that the redesign was made because editorial was moving ahead of design in terms of how stories and news were handled. Will be interesting to see how they handle it. (Read the interview for a few examples.)
  • Oh, let's finish up with Vogue again. Over at the Glossed Over blog (a very critical look at women's fashion magazines), they did a "live blog" of reading the giant September issue of the magazine. Wish I'd thought of that, but after turning all those pages, I think my fingers would be too tired to type.
My previous media roundup.
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