Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ladies' Home Journal now to be written almost entirely by its readers

In a surprising development, the venerable Ladies' Home Journal  (Meredith Corporation) will now be featuring reader-written content in almost every story in the magazine, starting with its March issue, which will also be substantially redesigned by Pentagram, the well-known New York design firm.
This is carrying to an extreme the trend of traditional magazines to connect to the demands of modern, younger readers who are not satisfied to have professionals curate, write and present journalism. Quoted in a post on Folio:, publisher Diane Malloy says
“At Meredith, we do a lot of research to stay in touch with our core consumers. What they’re thinking about, how they’re consuming their media; what we found throughout our research is that women inherently want to share and connect.They’re blogging, they’re online more often and they’re looking for their print to involve some of the same pillars they get online.”
Reader-contributors will be identified largely through Meredith's network of blogs and the contributors will be paid on a similar scale to staff writers (a significant departure from blogs like the Huffington Post, which pay their contributors with "exposure".)  Staffers won't lose their jobs; they will fact-check and work with reader-contributors on their stories.
“We will blend the authority of print and expertise of editors, with the authenticity of experience,” says Malloy. “All of our stories are going to be either done in first person, then overlaid with experts’ opinions, or vice versa.” 

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm trying to imagine what it would be like for my publisher to call me in and say, "You know how you currently get to collaborate with professional freelance writers? Well, now you get to edit readers' stories. And fact-check." I think I'd run home and work on my resume. I mean, I get it; print magazines are struggling and are now attempting new, "innovative" ways to stay afloat. But this just sounds harebrained.

4:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm excited to see what Pentagram does with it

6:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a percentage of overall operating costs, writer's fees have to be only a tiny amount... cost saving yes, but business saving? Not likely.

4:18 pm  

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