Donaton: Time for a new class of magazines?

Scott Donaton, Ad Age: “It could be time for the magazine industry to build a new wall to intersect the one separating editorial decisions from advertising considerations. This second wall would create a distinction between magazines whose primary purpose is to inform readers and those whose primary purpose is to entertain them. Each side could then operate by a standard of editorial integrity judged against the expectations of their respective audiences rather than those of journalistic watchdogs.
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“…As the debate unfolds over what role, if any, there is for magazines in the branded-entertainment sphere, it may be unfair to hold all titles to standards demanded at the top journalistic tier.”
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“Cathie Black was right to note that editorial guidelines issued by the American Society of Magazine Editors are “irrelevant” to Hearst’s forthcoming Shop Etc. That’s not a knock on ASME; its rules should remain tough, and news, business and other journalistic magazines should be judged by their adherence to them. But it does bolster the argument for building a new wall and a class of magazines judged not by an impossible standard but by readers’ expectations.”
On the money, Scott, as always.