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Perspective: A eulogy for print media

Laura Chouette

A recent Perspectives contributor lamented the disappearance of magazines in waiting rooms, which moved me deeply. Occasionally, I forget to pack entertainment for my child and they take my phone, leaving me with nothing but the gears in my head. But it’s more than that.


I love magazines. When I was in college, I tore the ads out of my Vogue and would paper my dorm room walls with them. I buy an issue of the fashion magazine every time I fly, and I impulse-subscribed to a few print magazines and even read them, although I canceled my The New Yorker subscription because it came too frequently.


There is something about magazine journalism that just hits different. I like the long-winded articles, the advertisements and the feel of the glossy paper in my hand. As a features writer, I know that these issues are painstakingly planned, often six months or more in advance.


As print media flounders in a digital ecosystem, staff writers are vanishing with your waiting room magazines. Today’s magazines have small staffs and a rotating cast of freelance contributors whose benefits they don’t have to help pay for. Unfortunately, traditional media still hasn’t figured out a sustainable business model in today’s world of short-form, vertical content delivered to us by algorithms.


I will likely never land a staff writer role at Condé Nast — and it’s not just because I don’t want to move to New York City. Media as we know it is dead, we can only remember its legacy.


I’m Nia Norris and this is my Perspective.


Originally from Pittsburgh, Nia Springer-Norris moved to DeKalb in 2021 to pursue a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Journalism Studies. Nia is also a freelance journalist, editor, and communication consultant.
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