Our dear friends at Paste Magazine lit up Twitter the other night with distressing messages ranging from “Oh crap. Need a job now” to slightly more panicked reactions. The news then broke that Paste has suspended print publications and may now only exist in digital form. The magazine was instrumental in forming my ideas about how music journalism should be conducted and though I may not have always agreed with some record reviews, I at least knew the minds behind them were sound.
But this seems to be a growing trend in the indie world, once thought a bit protected from the mainstream media woes. Like the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Paste was a very niche magazine (despite it’s national renown) and unfortunately, couldn’t be supported by its audience alone.
It’s heartbreaking for me to see it go and for my fellow Grady grads to be up the creek without a paddle. More worrying is the lack of a solid print music magazine to promote our Athens artists. Paste, being located just a short drive from Athens, paid close attention to our town and latched onto artists like Venice is Sinking and Bill Mallonee, giving them much needed national exposure. With Paste now digital only, I worry that good bands will fall through the cracks.
I suppose what’s really bothering me (besides one less magazine I can freelance for, damn!), is the fact that we all felt it coming. I hoped it wouldn’t but honestly, it makes more sense to keep stuff digital than spend money for print supplies. I like physical mags as much as the next person but the reason AMJ isn’t print is cause I have no money to do so. Even if I did, digital is more timely.
That being said, print tends to be more geared towards long pieces. It’s easy to read a 500 word spiel on a record online but when you want an in depth piece to read, the glare of the computer monitor isn’t exactly your friend.
Alas, the world runs on money and not sheer amounts of awesome. Here’s hoping Paste finds some way to continue online in the future.