An argument for analogue : how can an indie magazine structure Its digital framework to increase print viability?

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Borrowman, Laurel
Independent publishing
Laws of media tetrad
Magazine publishing
Material culture
Media hybridization
Digital media consumption of magazines is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, yet print remains significant in this genre. The purpose of this study is to determine a model of publishing in which an independent magazine’s printed form can be made more viable because of its digital components, not despite them. Using a strengths-based approach, the study is based in semi-structured interviews with the publishers of eight independent magazines that have used both print and digital media in their publishing practices, exploring themes like motivation, creative freedom, creative control, and career development. Then, the data was sorted through the lens of McLuhan’s “laws of media” tetrad model, allowing for analysis of what is enhanced, obsolesced, retrieved, and reversed in this hybrid publishing model, with the aim of showing what each component can effectively bring in order to support the print edition and to integrate the digital components. The results inform the design and framework of a magazine publishing model in which the print issue is the focus, with support from the digital components. Any independent magazine can apply the results to its current practices or use them to launch a new hybrid offering.
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