Men’s magazine Port did a cover story for its summer issue on the future of print media, describing a new golden age of magazine publishing. It created some controversy featuring, as it did, six white male editors in suits on its black and white cover, from select publications, to represent its viewpoint.

The ideas covered included the magazine’s ongoing viability, designed nature, storytelling purpose, physicality, the multi-tasking of today’s editors, the need for consistency, and the impact of and relationship with screens.

As an old(ish) white male I don’t exactly diversify the equation but I do love print magazines and think they will live forever.

Magazines are eternal because no matter how many media channels arrive, people will always want great stories and as a lean-back format, the print magazine is a better storytelling format than most screens. As a medium, it’s incredibly visual, simple to use, super-relaxing, mysterious, portable, sharable, sensual and affordable.

The challenge for magazines, as with all media, is to tell stories that people care about; to become part of an unfolding narrative that connects across media and into lives in unique ways. Great stories command premiums and the magazines that succeed will be ideas factories assembling design, images and content in ways that people love.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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