My boss asked me recently if I missed editing magazines.
Yesssssss. Of course. Very much.
I survived some pretty miserable years in that world.
Happily, that’s all ancient history … but it doesn’t stop me thinking about what I’d do with a weekly magazine if I got my hands on it.
Not that anyone would ever a) let me get my hands on a weekly magazine or b) do what I have in mind.
Things are pretty precarious in the magazine world. Slow and steady – with lots of Bec & Lleyton – seems to be par for the course. Don’t rock the boat, stick to what you know and all that.
I couldn’t do things that way any more.
For a start, I don’t want to pay paparazzi photographers to tail celebrities. Actually, I don’t want to pay paparazzi photographers full stop.
I used to spend terrifying amounts of money on pap photos when I was the editor of Woman’s Day and not bat an eyelid.
Couldn’t do it now. Don’t believe its nice or necessary.
I’ve floated the whole “100% paparazzi-free” thing with a few magazine types and they’ve gone slightly puce. They don’t reckon it would fly in the weekly market.
But I’d like to think that readers – and celebrities – would embrace a gentler alternative, not to mention it being a bettter selling environement for advertisers.
The thoughts bubbled up again this week when Mamamia ran a story on how celebrities feel when the paparazzi tail them.
2Day FM radio host Sam Frost discussed the anxiety it causes.
“Anytime I’m out in public, I am paranoid, anxious and cautious of everything I do just in case there is a pap lurking in the bushes, following me in their car or camping outside my house,” she said. “I’m not free to be myself anymore, which is heartbreaking for my family and friends to witness.”
Fellow announcer Chrissie Swan agreed.
“For me, spotting the paps when I’m out and about is a real downer. Obviously I immediately have to get my kids out of there. And if I’m alone, I wait for the pics to be published and what nasty angle the news site will make up to accompany what are often really innocuous shots,” she said. “And the angle is always just made up. They always use the worst pics too!”
And don’t get me started on the appalling Sam Armytage granny pants scandal.
Blerk. SO not my scene. Not even tempted to click.
There will always be a perve brigade who can’t resist ogling pap photos. People love those unguarded moments and scoops. But I reckon there’s room in the celebrity market for something a little different.
My years in digital have taught me there are many legitimate celebrity stories out there that don’t require paparazzi photos … or bitchiness … to tell them.
I also reckon there’s legs in getting clever writers to talk about the stories BEHIND the stories. A little expert commentary about what it all means when Brad and Ange go to war. It gives readers a view for their next watercooler gossip session.
But, truth be told, I’m more interested in the latest wine industry news these days than what’s happening in Hollywood. I’m sure my interest could be reignited, celebrity was part of my DNA for so long (I couldn’t resist a stickybeak at Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively with their kids on the red carpet yesterday). But I’m not buying the way celebrity is dished up these days.
I’ve moved on.
Do you read magazines? Which ones?
Song of the day: Cold Chisel “Ita”