Looking Past The Headlines… Or Seeking The Truth In Journalism And Media Reporting…

October 2, 2017

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, founder and director, Magazine Innovation Center at The University of Mississippi. Photo by Robert Jordan/
Ole Miss Communications

September has been a month to remember in the world of magazines and magazine media. Editors resigning, media reporters quick to editorialize on the demise of magazines and publishing as a whole, marketing experts questioning the effectiveness of digital advertising, and magazine industry leaders taking a stand to separate fact from fiction. Just take a look at some of the recent headlines and quotes from various media outlets in no specific order:

“The reality is that in 2017, the bloom came off the rose for digital media,” said (Marc) Pritchard. “The reason: substantial waste in what has become a murky supply chain. As little as 25 per cent of the money we spend in digital media actually makes it to the consumer. With $200bn in spending, it’s frankly time to stop giving digital a pass, and ask it to grow up.” Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, P&G

“People use social media to share things about their lives with each other. And let’s face it, ads are annoying in that context.” Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, P&G speaking at Dmexco, Sept. 13

The Not-So-Glossy Future of Magazines
Magazines still line classic newsstands like this one in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass. But the publishing industry has faded.
The New York Times’ story headline and caption… Sept. 23, 2017

“Here’s a headline for you: Print is alive and well with consumers everywhere. I know it’s different than the headlines you’ve been seeing lately, but it happens to be a fact.” Michael Clinton, President Marketing & Publishing Director, Hearst Magazines, Monday Sept. 25

Digital advertising revenues are fleeting; far from the antidote to print declines they were — pardon me — advertised to be; according to some estimates, at least one-third of all digital ad impressions are fraudulent. What’s more, brands are growing increasingly skittish about the potential for their messaging to wind up in brand-unsafe environs, and transparency and trust have never been at such a premium. Ad Opts IQ, from Folio Sept. 29

“Consumers and women still love the printed format to turn to for inspiration and for more of that lean-back experience. And what we look for more with digital is as a utility to help them to do something in the short-term. So, inspiration versus utility, as I like to say.” Tom Harty, president and COO, Meredith, Monday Sept. 25

So, did the publishing industry really fade as The New York Times would like us to think? And are digital ads really fleeting as reported in Folio:’s Ad Opts IQ? And those digital ads; are they really annoying people on social media as Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at P & G, said? Is print really alive and well with consumers everywhere, as Michael Clinton, president, marketing and publishing director, Hearst magazines, wrote in a recent article? Are “consumers and women still loving the printed format to turn to for inspiration and for more of that lean-back experience,” as Tom Harty, president and COO of Meredith, stated?

So what’s one to do in the midst of the conflicting and sometimes fake headlines? How can one tell the difference between fact and fiction? Needless to say, unless one looks past the headlines and goes back to the truth of journalism, the answers will be hard to come by, unless…

To be continued… stay tuned.

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