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In the recent issue of Harper’s, publisher John R. MacArthur offers up a fairly apocalyptic account of the state of print magazines entitled “Can Magazines Be Saved?” For MacArthur, things started going wrong in the late 1990s when newspapers and magazines began taking writing that their subscribers paid for— now deemed “content”— and putting it online. As MacArthur writes, “Not only was ‘content’ an empty and offensive word, but my fellow publishers also proposed to give it away free in the quest for more advertising (8).” MacArthur is right to argue that what began as a shift in publishing has transformed into a crisis in journalism, in which the future of many venerable print institutions (and the jobs they provide) are in doubt. I should note that Harper’s has always kept its online magazine behind a paywall.
©2014 Jim O'Loughlin
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"Should We Be Content with Content?,"
UNIversitas: Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: Vol. 9:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/universitas/vol9/iss1/4