Dave Allen

Marco Arment is not saving journalism

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Marco Arment, the man behind Instapaper has a great post about tablet-native publishing.

I have a lot of respect for the publishing industry and the futurists who try to predict where it’s heading. Nobody in that business has it particularly easy. But with The Daily dying so soon after I launched The Magazine, many writers have gotten the wrong idea: that The Magazine was made to show the industry “how it’s done”, or to “save journalism”, or as part of a grand plan of mine that somehow involves both Instapaper and The Magazine. None are true.

The Magazine and Instapaper operate independently. There’s no master plan. I wanted Instapaper to exist, so I made it. Five years later, I wanted The Magazine to exist, so I made that.

I don’t know how to save journalism, but I’m also not qualified to. I’m not a journalist and I don’t know much about that industry.

I also have no interest in showing the periodical industry “how it’s done”. I set out to create this magazine, not make a template for other publishers to follow.

But it’s working (for this magazine, at least), so naturally, many publishers and platforms have already started similar-looking efforts. I get daily inquiries from people who want to license The Magazine’s platform to get a head start, a business that I don’t think I want to be in.

In fact, I really don’t want a bunch of other Newsstand magazines to launch that look just like The Magazine.

I want The Magazine to be the only publication that looks like The Magazine. People should recognize the style as uniquely The Magazine’s. Cloning it to death would only dilute what I’m trying to build.


  • http://angkmaurer.com Angie

    Weird. Original thought and craft lend authenticity (and add value) to the design and production of a service/product. Strategists: take note! The more things change…