Friday 27 March 2015
The guttering press
I bought my fist Railway Modeller in 1977 in Woolies in Middlesbrough - yes, Woolies remember them? I have religiously stuck to it ever since with the usual gaps for women and song and it now magically lands on the mat every month without any action from me at all. Of course RM is the only title that you could trace this far back; the rest appearing, if memory serves, in dribs and drabs starting with MRJ in 1985.
Why do we stick to one title? I rarely even look at the others and I'm one of that derided breed who will not buy if it's in a plastic wrap and I can't flick through it first. Come to think of it why is there more than one title at all? After all, they all do the same thing: ads-reviews- layouts-how-to's. So why not just one? There are of course parallels with the national press and there it is easy to make trite clichéd class distinctions:van driver -Sun, teacher - Guardian etc. That won't work with model mags although shifts can occur. In the same way that 25 years ago I found myself shifting from one of the middle ranking nationals to a (then physically) broadsheet, I find myself picking up MRJ a few times a year, and unlike RM which gets systematically chopped up and separated, the MRJs I tend to keep. Why? Is the future bright for printed model mags, or I we more likely to screen view now? And will the six still be around in a decade?