Magazines are gone, editors struggle to continue to uphold the culture

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

The end of magazines is part of the new world where everyone gets their news from social media, and where everyone reads slogans instead of essays. The resulting extremism undermines the political system. That extremism undermines the support of a tolerant society that allows diverse views. It also undermines support for the freedom of capital, what some refer to as a free market. If the free market allows the destruction of the politics that allowed a free market, then surely we never should have tolerated the free market in the first place?

When and why did you set up Strong Words?

It’s been going for about 18 months. I did it because the world pulled the rug out from beneath the magazine industry when advertising migrated to digital. The chances of getting another editor’s job at the level I was used to had vanished. I don’t know how to do anything else. I can’t operate a crane or crack a safe. So I thought, what can I do? Just as the technology has come along that enables people to make high-quality magazines with tiny teams, that same technology has destroyed the market. But there’s quite a lot of activity in independent publishing and niche markets. I realised that as long as I keep costs down, I don’t need to sell many copies for it to be a viable business.`

You write and edit the magazine – about 30,000 words an issue; you read the books reviewed. How do you organise your working week?

It’s not as if those 30,000 words require the sophistication or structure of a novel – it works to quite a regular format. I just need to set myself a deadline each day. I work seven days a week, starting at 6am. I spend the first couple of hours walking and listening to audiobooks, and finish at about six in the evening.

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