‘To call a magazine very important is a strong word as the world would not stop functioning if we did not have magazines…. The meaning of a magazine is an arabic word meaning to store: originally ammunition. It is therefore a place to store content. To publish means to make public therefore the magazine is also making public content that gatekeepers/publishers wish to disseminate to their public or target audience of readers… Most magazines have a large staff and must be able to pay their salaries.* Think about a magazine as big as Vogue. Political and satirical magazines or magazines such as Nature or History Today, etc do not depend so heavily on advertising but need a cover price and good subscriptions to make money as they have fixed and variable cost (as all companies do) to cover… Some of the best literary writers from the past and present either worked on magazines or had their work published in magazines before they wrote and had their books published…
- Generate Wealth
- Create Employment
- Provide GDP for a country
- Can influence societies
- Are testimony to the world we live in
- Are creative
- Are flexible
- Are collectable and if printed you own the collection
- Create the zeitgeist
- Are a luxury
- Are entertaining
‘No we cannot lose the magazine!’
*Haha, very funny.
Why do publishers still produce printed magazines?
‘Publishers produce printed magazines because reading on paper engages deeper parts of the brain and helps people engage with the material in a meaningful way.
‘In 2011 Time magazine reported about highbrow magazine creatives congregating in a ritzy New York City bar for to release zines they made in their free time. When staff writer Meredith Melnick asked the creatives “Why,” Vanity Fair’s digital design editor Hamish Robertson spelled it out that “I’m the biggest fan of print in the boundaries that it creates, especially because my day job is working on the web. Too many people think that you can just let the page get longer and longer on a website, and while that’s true, it doesn’t always make it better.” Claire Heslop, creator of The Sun Shines on it Twice, quit blogging to return to zinemaking, explaining to the Winnipeg Free Press, “[Blogging] didn’t really work for me, I didn’t get any enjoyment out of it, it didn’t feel satisfying. It’s not the same as having a real, small, colourful and crazy interactive piece of something that somebody made by hand for you.”
‘In an interview with ABC News in Melbourne, Australia, Thomas Blatchford, a volunteer at zine store Sticky Institute**, explained this motivation further. Contrary to what skeptics have convinced themselves of, according to Blatchford, zines have “definitely become much more popular recently” in part because “There’s some horrible people on [the Internet.]”
‘I too have noticed how behavior on the Internet can be quite “horrible” so I sought out to understand why. Reading on the screen triggers very harsh reactions in our amygdala. The amygdala are the neurons that yank our control away from our thinking brain and tell us that we are under attack. The amygdala anonymously writes reactive comments all over the Internet without consequence that range from intolerant and uninformed to downright cruel and abusive. This is why print is a safer and better place to learn. Dr. Faith Harper, who holds a PhD in counselor education and supervision, says “Like handwriting instead of typing, anything that slows down our communication process is inherently more reflexive.”…
S P A C E the zine, Saigon, March 2021
‘If someone takes the time to respond to something written on paper, it’s done out of love, respect, and the desire for a connection, even if it’s constructive criticism. Pam Mueller, a Princeton researcher, demonstrated that people actually learn more and are more thoughtful when they write letters by hand because they synthesize their thoughts instead of just repeating information. Or as Blatchford puts it “People like to know that when they’re sharing something, there are often going to be likeminded people reading…people feel a sense of trust within the zine community.”
‘Zines are a place where ideas can be nurtured as they develop. As Gillian Beck says in the documentary film $100 and a T-shirt, “Zines are one of the only mediums where people care enough to give feedback and criticize your work” and it’s because we are all part of the same community, with similar goals. The technicalities of zine-making take a backseat to what you’re trying to express, whether it’s something that you need to purge from yourself by writing, or creating art that you don’t have another outlet for, or information that you feel needs to be broadcast.