A Brief Rant about Virtual Magazines


I subscribed to The New Yorker awhile ago. They had a promo available where the print/online combo was cheaper then just subscribing to the paper edition, so I gave it a shot. Canada Post is notoriously slow with any delivery, especially scheduled, routine ones – and my hope was that I'd be able to read the magazine exactly on its publishing date and then deep-read the paper copy when it eventually arrived.

How plussed was I to discover that the online portion of my subscription was in actual fact just full access to all the articles on their website. There is a dedicated app for iOS, but If you have Android, tough love. You can get it on Google Play News Stand, but if your a paranoid freedom-loving commie like me, you don't have the neccesary Google account to log into the app (let alone even have it installed on your phone).

New Yorker Website

This brings me into a larger topic, that being: Why don't News Publishers understand the internet? Most of them, from your local fish-wrap all the way to massive publications like Vogue or Wired, outsource their digital publications – their website, digital subscriptions, etc. – to external providers like PressPad or Magzter, companies who – A, don't spend a lot of time making sure the digital version looks great, and B, don't really give two shits about customer service.

All I want is a readable, digital magazine, like issuu does. I want to turn pages, scroll around, and zoom in on text. It doesn't have to be perfectly optimized for my phone – that's not what matters. What matters is I'm getting the same information as the print publication, because if I'm not, I feel ripped off.

It's no secret in the world of journalism that the budgets are getting smaller and newspapers are dying. I feel a major portion of this crunch is from the inability for publications to get with the times. Spend some money, New Yorker! DIY a digital version. Hack the Planet!

#general #rant #media #newspaper #magazine

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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