By Judith Ross for Talking Writing
Just over two years ago I returned home after five days in the hospital to find a glossy paper life raft waiting for me. It was the January issue of House and Garden magazine. In my first week of recovery that issue provided many forms of entertainment. When I had the energy and focus to read, there was the always-delightful letter from the magazine’s editor, Dominique Browning, that paved the way for articles both short and long. When I was tired or sad and needed diversion, there were photographs of interesting interiors and gardens to peruse. When I was in the mood for both words and pictures there were photo captions and other details to take in.
That well-worn copy sits with about 24 others on a shelf in my home office, their colorful yet tasteful spines brightening the room. Sadly, there won’t be any more joining them. Like many of its kind, House and Garden is no more. Those of us who grew up knowing the excitement of finding a new National Geographic and/or New Yorker in the mailbox must adjust.
This weekend The New York Times ran a piece describing the launch party for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/03/business/media/03carr.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Talk%20magazine&st=cse. The piece describes the party as the end of an era rather than the christening of a “new era of media fabulousness” as had been intended.
Here we are. As a reader, I am sad.
As a writer, I am sad but excited. Digital media seems like an intriguing new country to explore. There are different customs to learn and another language to master. Yet given the digital world's many comings and goings, one has to wonder: What will stick and what will go away?
In addition, there are many questions about what online publishing means for writers. A newsletter I have contributed to for several years transitioned from print to online this past spring. In the process it has halved what it pays freelancers.
So dear readers and writers, where do we go from here?
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