I wasn’t as active on the interwebs and related social media in March as I usually am, mostly because I spent a good part of the month huddled in a dark room wearing sunglasses bemoaning my existence. That’s right, I got laser eye surgery to correct my myopia. Status update: three weeks later things are going ok but screens present a constant challenge, so my return to an active online life is happening slowly—but surely, dammit! How else can one feed an addiction to digital library archives?
Wah wah. Poor me. Moving on…
We have a tie for the most liked Instagram on my feed for March. A snapshot from a birthday treat for my talented, animal-loving friend Issie (a little lemur love) and a throwback Thursday installment from my travels in China.
A Canadian friend back on home turf, a fellow journalism grad, sent my this article about two iconic magazines losing their interns. She asked me what I thought about it.
The article quotes Douglas Knight, CEO of St. Joseph Media, a company that is, according to their own website, “transforming the way brands engage with people”. It also owns one of the magazines that lost interns.
“’But the idea that we can start paying everybody completely misunderstands the nature of the economics of the magazine industry at the moment,” he continued. “I can’t even afford to pay regular cost of living increases to my staff, let alone my interns.’”
The article goes on to express the reaction of another award-winning magazine that lost interns: The Walrus.
“’We have been training future leaders in media and development for ten years, and we are extremely sorry we are no longer able to provide these opportunities,’ the statement continued, arguing the program ‘assisted many young Ontarians — and Canadians — in bridging the gap from university to paid work and in, many cases, on to stellar careers.’”
What did I get from that?
It’s sad. Someone used to make a living making horse buggies. I suppose when cars came around she turned her skills to carpentry/cabinetry. I think the people coming out of j-skool and other media programmes need to forge their own paths using the skills they’ve acquired. They can’t rely on the magazine industry as it currently exists, not if you’re to believe Douglas Knight. So they either need to re-invent/replace the system or re-invent themselves.
I guess that’s not so sad. Except the whole death of an era thing.
I suppose I shouldn’t overlook that The Star is the one who brought this issue to light. Trying to eliminate the competiton? Maybe. But, according to their website “All Star internships are paid, contract positions.” Adding, at the end: “If you are living at a temporary address, please include alternate contact information that will not change for a six-month period (for example, your parents’ address and phone numbers).”
I guess they know their demographic.
Thank you, for making books part of my fibre.