Rolling Stone; summer magazine experience


As I thought would be the case when I wrote  this blog post, the recent controversial cover of Rolling Stone featuring a photograph of Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover resulted in a 20% increase in sales. Despite the fact some very big retail chains refused to sell the August edition of the magazine because they claimed the photograph glamorized the suspect, it would seem the furor fueled sales rather than snuffing them.

… the recent controversial cover of Rolling Stone featuring a photograph of Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover resulted in a 20% increase in sales

I have to admit I was one of those who bought the magazine. I read a lot, mostly novels and the occasional bit of non-fiction, but summer is my time for magazines. So I thought I’d see what all the kerfuffle was about and instead of picking up The Atlantic or Mother Jones, I gave Rolling Stone a shot.

Readers were left waiting for that one tidbit of insight that would make this article stand out from the umpteen thousand other TV and print pieces on the suspect that never came

Having read the August issue I can tell you I learned a few things, but not from the articles I thought would provide me with information. The lengthy piece on Tsarnaev left me feeling it had been cobbled together mostly from television reports and a few interviews with friends who wouldn’t be identified. He was a nice guy, never thought he’d do a thing like this, he was a great wrestler, he idolized his brother, and on-and-on it went. Family background was a rehashing of trips between the US and Europe, nothing new there. Readers were left waiting for that one tidbit of insight that would make this article stand out from the umpteen thousand other TV and print pieces on the suspect that never came.

In another item in the August Rolling Stone it was revealed that at the age of 80, Willie Nelson still consumes vast amounts of dope and likes to sleep on a bus. (I imagine that description fits half the high-school kids in North America!) I like Nelson’s music, but I get a bit tired of the same old tales of his love of weed, whether in print or on television interviews.

I could give away 1 million albums and claim to have a million seller if that’s the way it works

But all was not lost, I did learn that Jay Z and Samsung teamed up to give away, via mobile app, 1 million copies of his latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. The folks who came up with the idea were plenty steamed when Billboard Magazine refused to take into consideration the freebies when calculating their Top 40 list. They claim the criterion is record “sales” not give-aways. I could give away 1 million albums and claim to have a million seller if that’s the way it works. However the people who hand out platinum records see it Jay Z’s way and awarded him one. Go figure.

On the whole I think I’ll stick to The Atlantic.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s