Editorial - State of the Magazine Market
Note: Originally published in the September 11, 2021, Just British email magazine.
Now, if you will humor me, I want to stop for a moment this week and talk to you about Just British itself - as in why it exists. This past week I was in one of those "I need a magazine moods" so I headed down to Barnes & Noble to look through the automobile (and model train) selection. Doing so reminded me of why I created Just British. It seems that every magazine there, and there weren't that many, was priced somewhere around the range I used to pay for pricey paperback novels. Worst still, most of them seemed to be "lifestyle brands" instead of car magazines. Even my old go-to of R&T, where I would always flip first to my idol Peter Egan, is now a "luxury lifestyle magazine for the automotive enthusiast".
The changes in the magazine - both in price and focus - seem to match many of the shows I see on TV, the restoration stories I hear, and even many car shows. With all of these the pointer is shifting from use and enjoyment that is attainable by most to a rarified, wealthy only, hands-off hobby. While I have nothing against wealth and would love to have some myself, I honestly don't believe that this is a healthy change for the hobby nor one a lot of us would choose. And that is why Just British exists.
Just British was created to fill a void in the car publication market when other British car magazines either faded away, morphed into more general interest endeavors, or completely changed their focus. It is the publication I wanted to read - accessible, down to earth, and affordable. The focus is and will remain, cars, camaraderie, and community.
If you agree with any or all of this and would like to help, I would ask you to do perhaps one of three things. 1) Spread the word. Yup, it is that easy. Tell your club about Just British, run something in your newsletter, or share a post on Facebook or somewhere. 2) Send in stories or event listings or event reports. The things you are interested in are interesting to other people. 3) If you know of any businesses who might be interested in advertising in Just British, ask them to do so. We have to cover expenses somehow, and those ads are about the only way for that to happen.
OK. I have gone on far too long so will get off my soapbox now. (Is that even still a thing anymore?)