There Is Hope: Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni’s 2016 Manifesto. Published In min: Media Industry Newsletter 1/11/2016 Issue.

January 10, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 4.19.34 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-09 at 4.19.52 PMThere is a sign that has hung over my office for many, many years. Its message is simple and straightforward: There is hope.

And if you have a modicum of positivity beating within your chest at all, you’ll agree that there is always hope in every situation.

Unless you’re just absolutely convinced that the world and everything in it, including yourself, is irrefutably lost, there is always hope.

And even in that particular case, if you dig deep enough and reach beyond your negativity to that inner light that was placed inside you the moment you took your first breath, you’ll find that tiny “thumbs-up” that always promises a better day ahead.

When it comes to magazines and magazine media, never in my 30-plus years of experience has that statement ringed more true.
Why, you might ask? There are many reasons, and in my 2016 Manifesto, I am giving my “top 10.”

1. Hope springs eternal. After every naysayer from every corner of the globe cried from the mountaintops that print was dead and that digital was the new print, they’re swallowing these words as print has been rediscovered lately by everybody from the smallest independent publisher to the game-changers in the industry.

2. Print also springs eternal. Since Moses came down from Mount Sinai with those two stone tablets (the original print platform), print–in one shape or another–has been delivering information that helps and benefits our lives.

3. What goes around eventually comes back around. As it has with Tablet magazine, which was born on the Web. Tablet rediscovered its “original roots” in 2015, as did a plethora of digital entities.

4. Every print entity has a life cycle, but not the entire medium. Print has a time to draw its first breath and a time to take its last, but certainly not as an entire platform. When a television program is cancelled or a movie’s title is removed from the marquis, that doesn’t mean that we all need to set a huge bonfire and burn our TV sets or never go to a movie theater again because they ceased to exist

5. Magazines’ 2015 birth rate was much higher than the death rate. And 2015 is not alone. For the past 30 years, more magazine launches were announced than closures. Remember: If it’s not ink on paper, it’s not a magazine.

That definition and reaffirmation of it by the resurgence of print make it officially time for us to find a new name for the digital entities that exist on the Web as online “magazines.” After television became widespread in the 1950s, few referred to the medium as “radio with pictures,” so we should immediately cease calling websites with content and pictures “magazines.”

6. Magazines must offer their audience an experience. Magazines in 2016 have to be more than content and pictures: they have to be experiences, and magazine-makers have to morph into experience makers. That is the only way they can survive in today’s infinite environment.

When you travel anywhere in the world with the swipe of your finger or the click of a mouse, ink on paper has to offer something more lasting and collectible than instantaneous satisfaction. That collectability factor has to be predominant without any trace of dispensability. And to personify that collectability factor, magazine makers must create, curate and make that content credible.

7. Magazines need more editors and publishers. We need more editors and publishers than we need chief content officers and chief revenue officers, and that’s a truth that can’t be ignored. Creation and curation require more editors and publishers who are hands-on, and certainly the credibility factor has to be one that is predominately practiced through the eyes of people who deeply care.

8. Print is the new, “new media.” One statement is true as we begin 2016: Print is the new, “new media.” And I must say that it feels good to be vindicated after all these years in that belief and faith in print, especially considering that Columbia Journalism Review used that headline in a recent article.

9. Rejected simplicity. I won’t. Instead, I will just bring the term “rejected simplicity” to top of mind. This simple, easy, beautiful and wonderful technology called print has been rejected over the past few years because of its simplicity. We tend to think that if you don’t have to connect 20 million dots with 40 million lines, the end result won’t be spectacular. And that’s simply not true.

10. Common sense. So it is with that thought in mind, I say that we must use common sense when it comes to the rule of thumb regarding print. Create, curate, and make that content credible and collectible. In the time that we live in, there is absolutely no reason that it has to be “either/or.” It’s just a ridiculously small-minded scenario.

And let’s bury that phrase “print is dead” once and for all.

One comment

  1. Dr. Husni once again has raised his loyalty for print to a new level which should be inspiring to all of us ink-stained wretches.
    Dave Fuller
    Editor, The Costco Connection (1989-2013)…the dates are mine, not the magazine’s. It’s monthly U.S. print circulation is still 8.5 million.

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