I’m a little surprised by the number of emails I’ve received and the number of blog posts I’ve seen (here, here, here, here, here and here) regarding the demise of JPG magazine. Taking something that works well online and printing it seems kinda like taking a magazine and turning it into a website. Does anyone still think this is a good idea? Sure, I think printing it and charging $20 an issue, (not $2) so the published photographers can have something for the coffee table and also using the printed product to prove some form of legitimacy to advertisers is a good idea. But, anyone who feels like user generated content should be printed and distributed the old way is missing the value of magazines in the first place. Original content.
It all comes down to a fairly common discussion at magazine story and photography meetings. Do we inspire our readers with content where they can say “I could do that” or do we give them aspirational content so they say “I wish I could do that.” A mix is probably closer to the truth but I’ve always been in the aspirational camp and that means running photography that not even my editor understands.