Sunday, June 07, 2009

Nick Magazines Closing Down

I'm reading a lot into this, but not doom and gloom. Nickolodeon and Nick Jr magazines are shutting their doors and about 30 staffers will lose their jobs--not to mention the multiple freelancers who lose another market.

Kids are not reading less--in fact, I think they're reading more than ever (thank you, Lemony Snicket and J.K. Rowling and all the rest!) But the idea of children watching the mailbox in anticipation of a glossy new magazine just for them, with their name on the address label, is just so quaint.

Why would a kid in 2009 look forward to getting a magazine when they can hop on the internet for all the stories and pictures they want, picking and choosing among many topics and printing out what appeals most to them? Ligers, shipwrecks, dreamy androgynous dudes--right there at your fingertips. It's all free, as long as there's a spare color print cartridge nearby.

Change is good. That's my mantra, when things-fall-apart-and-the-center-cannot-hold-and-I-need-to-get-to-my-happy-place-fast. Change is good. Really. Good and hard.

From a reader's point of view, it's a simple paradigm shift. Adults have habits--well, some of us do--of flipping idly through bound pages as we sip our lattes. Kids are forming new habits. Let's just hope they don't spill their strawberry fraps [please keep them from caffeine] on the keyboard as they're googling and clicking.

From a writer's pov, there's this little wrinkle of making a living. Hard to find internet markets that pay as well as print did--not that print paid all that well, or even all the time. In ten years I'll probably have it figured out, but right now it's dicey.

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