The iconic fashion magazine Vogue turns 125, and its just as famous editor, Anna Wintour, reflects on her product and print generally. I like that she thinks print today must create memorable moments—good advice for daily newspaper editors, too.
She is Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue since 1988, and most recently also artistic director of Condé Nast, a tour de force, Hollywood muse (think Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada),but in this recent interview, to reflect on Vogue’s 125th anniversary, Ms. Wintour impresses not with her beautifully crafted dress or the designer shoes, but what she has to say about the role of print, a subject dear to me and readers of TheMarioBlog.
“I think what you have to do in print is to create even more memorable images and more memorable pieces because what one consumes online or in social has a much shorter shelf life, so to speak, so what print has to have is no more weight, but it has to be something that you can’t find so easily online. It has to really stand for print.”
Which is exactly what daily newspapers of substance do on a daily basis, but more intensely when such special events occur as a once a century solar eclipse, or the death of a beloved celebrity. Those moments, I feel, should land on Page One as often as possible. The memorable and perhaps collectible should impact the reader the moment the eyes land on the front page of that newspaper.
Vogue, like publications everywhere, faces the challenges of transformation, print readership and advertising decline, while its digital offerings gain momentum: 90 percent of vogue.com readers do not read Vogue in print. Wintour and others in her team feel that this is a good thing, as long as the brand is kept in front of the audience.
Going back to Wintour’s remarks about print, I like that she emphasizes that print is there to offer a point of view and a point of difference.
For print editions of newspapers, these are two good points to remember. A newspaper that is for everybody ends up being for nobody. But a newspaper that becomes essential in the life of its readers, with a point of view and a point of difference, is likely to remain part of the subscriber’s “must have”.
This two-day event, organized jointly by WAN-IFRA and the News Media Alliance (NMA), will provide a unique opportunity for North American news media executives to hear and discuss digital revenue strategyfrom the world’s most advanced media companies.
I will be one of the speakers for this conference in New York City.
Sept. 22, Columbia University, special program for Argentine journalism students Universidad Blas Pascal in Cordoba.
Oct. 19, WAN IFRA Digital Media North America, New York City
Nov. 16-19, WAN IFRA Latin America, Buenos Aires, Argentina