Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Before Lad mags - a nostalgic moment

'Before they rush around us to take our money from the government, how about a conversation first, ask us what we want from journalism, what we like and don't like -- and don't assume you know the answer. (The journalists' answer is that we want sports, movie stars, bosoms, car crashes. You know that because that's most of what they give us. Maybe that's why no one is rushing to their defense. Just a thought.)'

'...thats most of what they give us.' I have often wondered just how 'responsive' the media in its many parts is. Back in the early nineties, I used to read GQ magazine. It had interesting articles about pretty serious stuff, excellent stuff about clothes and its intended audience was smart and upmarket (I presumed). And then one day a magazine called Loaded came along, full of tits, pictures of people being blown up, articles about getting drunk and being sick, accompanied by smart-alecky asides. Over a period of just a few months, every single magazine aimed at young single men cloned themselves on Loaded, including GQ. I was enormously pissed off, and wondered whether other readers were too.

The market for magazines aimed at single young men went from pretty excellent variety and spread to zero variety and zero spread. There seemed to be no logic to it, and I can't imagine that the readership of ALL the bloke mags increased. Certainly I have not bought GQ since. I have no problem (I suppose) with hard-headed business decisions to stop providing for one market, and move into another one. But can everybody do that? Isn't the old market worthy of ONE entrant? I don't think the decision was hard-headed business- it was sheep-like conformity and a feeling that being serious and excellent just wasn't 'modern' and 'up-to-date'.

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