When Ralph magazine got the chop earlier this month, it gave us cause to think about the supposedly ever more loudly chiming death knell of mainstream print media and the way it’s often portrayed in the media at large.
We’re getting pretty used to hearing about magazines shutting their doors or turning their physical doors into… digital doors. If some of the pundits are to be believed, paper is so passé that we will soon be wiping our arses with a new device called the iPoo.
Yes, it is true that a bunch of magazines are closing down, but it this unusual?
If we really wanted to examine the health and desirability of print, wouldn’t we want to look at “net closures” meaning closures minus new magazine launches? And what if we found that new magazine launches were also accelerating? Perhaps, our take on the death of print might be somewhat different. Perhaps the real story is not so much the death of print, but an acceleration of the natural life cycle of your average magazine.
That said, this wouldn’t be such an interesting story now, would it. Therefore, why are we not at all surprised that while Ralph is closing, no one has mentioned the launch of a new Aussie lads mag called Apollo.
When discussing Ralph’s closure in The Age, a representative of ACP was paraphrased as attributing its demise to a shift in the tastes of young men.
However, with the first issue of Apollo now on shelf, flicking through its pages is a veritable treat for your average fan of lads mags. Not that we would know, of course, the male contingent of mag nation’s staff are way too culturally refined and intellectual to check out those gorgeous Apollos Sirens.
And we really are interested in the articles such as those on Bear Grylls (and yes, he is covered and blood and eating the possibly still beating heart of some kind of wild animal), the Red Bull Air Race and Wolfmother. Ok, so we did linger over the bikini clad babes too. Which is possibly an indication that the tastes of young men (or older men for that matter!) don’t appeared to have changed very much at all…
We could debate whether Apollo will succeed or not, but that is not the point of this post.
Anecdotal evidence (and we see it more than anyone else) tells us that new magazines are being born faster than ever before. Yes, some mags are going to disappear, but even really popular mags have suffered this fate in the past. Anyone remember a wee little mag called The Face?
R.I.P Ralph. And welcome to the world, Apollo. We hope you’ll be on our shelves for many years to come!