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moshe_levy

Thoughts on the Current State of Moto-Journalism - Episode #59

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moshe_levy

All the moto-mags we love are dying. Here's what I think about this current trend. 

 

-MKL

 

 

 

 

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Skywagon

Moshe....I do appreciate your reviews.  They give the info on gear I would like to have.  Magazines.....I use to subscribe to many like, boating, fishing, motorcycles, flying, parks and wildlife, salt water fishing, etc....all at the same time.  I let all my subscriptions expire on purpose except one.  I probably got 15 magazines a month.  Some of the hobbies it was multiple like flying and fishing.  There were 3 basic reasons I let them expire.

 

1. I just didn't read them

2. Price just kept going up

3. This was the main reason.....same stuff over and over.  Very little change.

 

On #3,,, it was similar to your video above.  It was mostly IMHO about selling, not reporting. When it was about reporting it wasn't like your video above. It was on a short time frame, not long term tested.

 

I don't read much digital content for the reasons you stated.  I rely on these type forums to hear what real users experience.  I'm one of those consumers whos studies things a long time before I buy whether it be a AA Battery or a car.  Just my nature to make sure me as they buyer is aware as possible

 

Keep up your good videos here with objective long term testing.  They are appreciated.

 

I'm curious what magazines people enjoy the most in outdoor sporting.  The one I keep is Texas Saltwater fishing.  It keeps me posted on regulations, limits, techniques, and generally hot spots.

 

P.S.  one of the ones I am letting expire next month is AOPA.  I have been a member of that organization and received their magazine since 1982.  #3 above.

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Bill_Walker

Moshe, I agree with pretty much everything you've said in the video, but I can't pass up commenting on the irony of you making these comments in episode 59 of a free video series.  Doesn't that make you part of the problem?

And of course, the problems you describe are now common to all print media, not just motorcycle media.  All magazines and newspapers are having trouble competing with the advertising juggernauts online.  Their ad revenue is drying up because they can't compete on the number of eyeballs, and their subscription revenue isn't enough to cover their costs, even if it weren't falling.  And from the user's point of view, well, if I'm going to bombarded with ads anyway, why should I also pay a subscription fee?  MCN was the only exception to this.  Personally, I have online subscriptions to a few newspaper sites and couple of magazines (albeit not moto ones), because I believe in supporting quality journalism (the only business specifically protected in the US Constitution, and for good reason).  But my print subscriptions to Cycle World and RoadRunner are up for renewal, and I haven't quite convinced myself to bother renewing.  I think that's partly down to COVID.  It's a little hard to be enthusiastic when travel restrictions are keeping me from riding much.

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moshe_levy

Hi Bill,

I can see that irony. My own situation is unique in the sense that I had already published something like 100 articles in national magazines over 12 years before I started my Youtube channel in 2016, so I was already established in that sense as a bona fide reviewer. Overwhelmingly, the spoken text of most of my videos are my own articles. I started doing videos because it gave me some more freedom to show things and talk about features that I couldn't given the word constraints of articles. But yes, there's irony there - and imagine I had never started videos? In this case, my voice would be gone, because other than Rider, everyone I have written for on a print subscription platform vanished this year.

 

I'm trying to impart on the riding public that moto-journalism is a labor of love. There was never any money in it, and now it's even worse. We used to get paid a few hundred $$$  per article which in my case sometimes spanned days of work. Videos? To give you a sense, after 4 years and 59 videos - hours and hours of content, which is all pretty time consuming to produce - my total Youtube revenue is about $600. TOTAL. That's a fraction of  a fraction of minimum wage flipping burgers, for a skill set (writing clearly and some degree of experience in testing products) that's quite a bit more specialized than entry level fast food manual labor. 

 

So my main point is that those of us who really do it for the love of it are different from those who are doing it to collect "free stuff," and I don't think most people are discerning that critical difference. 

 

-MKL 

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Hosstage

I've always thought that journalists, writers, do it for the love, not for the money. That goes for any kind of writing, novels, publications, comedy - it's a lot of work for not a lot of compensation. There are very few that can demand any real money for their writing. Making videos even less money for the time spent. It really has to be something one enjoys doing to keep at it over and over.

And thank goodness for those that do.

I'm sad to see the downfall of periodicals, newspapers, magazines, other publications, it is unfortunately a sign of the times. I'm even more sad to see what passes for entertainment in today's world, with people actually having the job of "influencer". Kill me.

 

I could have been a pretty good writer if it weren't for all that punctuation and grammar stuff....

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Skywagon

Moshe...$600/4/59.... If you keep it up you will be able to pay for your camera and editing gear in about 20 more years.  I know you don't do it for the money but for the contribution to the community and I presume some fun.  It's still appreciated and valued and I hope you will continue even though it probably won't help you retire early. :4323:

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realshelby

Moshe, we appreciate your work. You can't spend that, but it IS worth something!

 

Forums are what monthly subscriptions used to be. Your monthly, now daily or hourly fix for the subjects that interest you!

 

Even at their best, magazines were forced to bow to manufacturers. That often led to BS about how good stuff was or how it compared. I don't miss that. I do miss new model excitement, as that just isn't the same as before. The Automotive industry deals with that too. 

 

I get BMW MOA and RA magazines. I can tell you that there are times I don't even take them out of the plastic. Same old Airhead sweepstakes or custom bike articles. The only articles that really get my attention are about the ride. What went wrong, right. What little trick was learned. Where to stay. Pictures of stuff. We can get that online. When someone gets content good enough that people will have to subscribe to see it, then the tide might just turn back to paying subscriptions. 

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moshe_levy
On 8/29/2020 at 8:24 AM, realshelby said:

That's a good point about internet forums.....

 

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