I wanted this blog to talk about my experiences in the media, but its hard to talk about something that is currently almost non-existent. Everyday I apply for jobs, sometimes I hear back, sometimes I go on interviews. Everyday I read I WANT MEDIA and MediaBistro’s news of the day. Everyday I say to myself, “Of course I am trying to get into a field whose pages shrink daily and during an economic downturn nonetheless. I am crazy.”
So in the meantime, everyday I pick MediaBistro Video On Demand videos to watch about blogs, the internet, advertising, etc, everyday I look for conferences and courses to sign up for to learn about different aspects of the publishing industry, meet new editors and how to write a cover letter that doesn’t suck or sound like a robot and everyday I read articles in the ASME The Best American Magazine Writing 2007. Since I am only doing side projects, these activities make me feel like I am at least doing something in my field.
Perhaps none of the panels I attend or people I meet will be able to help me right now, but it is giving me peace of mind and maybe we’ll be able to help each other in the future (also helping with the peace of mind bit).
So what news am I reading that is stressing me out? I used to talk about my views, opinions and ideas on the media in my analytical Media Studies courses at Hunter, but graduation stole those from me, so now I must rant here. Maybe it will help take my blog in a new direction–my experiences, my views, my media. Catchy.
Last Friday, Meredith Corp. cut 60 jobs and opted not to fill 60 open positions. This, alone, made me sigh aloud since 20 of the 60 job cuts came from the magazine business (for all you mathematicians, that is 1/3 of the jobs) and Meredith owns big names like Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, Baby, Fitness and More.
Next year, weekly giant U.S. News & World Report will be biweekly. The mag’s editor, Brian Kelly said: “‘News’ and ‘week’ becomes an oxymoron.” Ok so that isn’t exactly an epiphany, since the 24-hour news cycle turned never-ending news cycle thanks to Al Gore, err I mean, the creators of ARPANET (what a ’90s joke!) has been going on for quite some time. But it nevertheless is disheartening to see the country’s No.3 weekly drop its frequency. BW Chicago, BusinessWeek’s first city-focused monthly, has been offed with the June issue as the last issue because of, you guessed it, slow ad sales.
Where are all the ads going? Print is literally shrinking everyday (if you noticed, the NYPost isn’t as tall as it used to be) and even Rupert Murdoch can’t quite figure out how to make money on the web. Google can’t be getting all the ads. The good news is that cool ways to engage the public online happen almost everyday. YouTube is going to launch a “Reporter” channel for pros and amateurs to submit news and the super cool part is that the site is teaming with the GOP for a contest to send an amateur to the Republican Convention. But we already knew Google knows how to engage the people.
But what about magazine sites? Wired has a good handle on it but by the look of other mags’ sites, it seems like some mag editors are more scared of the net than anything else. When are we going to be more engaging? MarketWatch.com has an article today, titled ” 8 simple rules for succeeding on the web. Commentary: Magazines should find opportunities, not obstacles”. The 8 ways are : 1- Have an attitude. 2- Make it easy to read. 3- Stress interactivity. 4-Entertain. Know your audience. 5- Maintain an identity. 6. Live in real time. 7- Be true. 8- Experiment. Though I whole-heartedly agree, I wonder: magazines didn’t know this already?