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Dori, Interrupted: Allure magazine and the future of print journalism

To quote Beyoncé, America has a problem. And that problem is: How am I supposed to make mood and vision boards with cute magazine cutouts if every magazine goes digital-only? Furthermore, what are car repair shops going to pile atop the lone coffee table in their lobbies if we the people are permanently deprived of paper magazines? This is an emergency.

On Sept. 1, Fashionista dispatched an email to its subscribers with the subject line reading “‘Allure’ to Discontinue Print Edition.” As an off-and-on Allure subscriber since childhood, I audibly gasped. Yes, I am a little dramatic, but I was shocked. Although, perhaps I should not have been.

Glamour, another Condé Nast title, ended its print edition in 2018. Beforehand, Condé Nast stopped printing Self in 2016. Not to be outdone, Dotdash Meredith eliminated the print editions of six magazines, including InStyle, Entertainment Weekly and Health in February.

According to Fashionista, Allure editor-in-chief Jessica Cruel wrote in a note to staff that the print edition was ending while the brand was in a positive place. 

“Our brand is stronger than ever across social and digital,” wrote Cruel. “And our success is testament to our collaboration as a team and because we know just how and where our audience is accessing content in today's ever-changing landscape.”

Allure’s December 2022 issue, starring Jennifer Aniston on the cover in a Chanel Haute Couture 1996 micro-mini bikini, was the magazine’s last to be printed. (I picture young adults waiting at their mailboxes for a January 2023 Allure issue that will never arrive).

It’s easy to wonder if a major player like Allure ceasing print after 31 years is a sign of the end—of print journalism, that is. However, according to Forbes, print journalism is alive and relatively well. In 2020 alone, 60 print magazines were launched.

“Print might just end up being one of the cockroaches lingering amid the nuclear fallout that the pandemic economy has left behind,” Forbes wrote.

Linda Wells, founding editor of Allure, spoke to Beauty Independent about the magazine’s digital-only shift.

“I wish Allure could exist forever in print because I have a maternal affection for a magazine that I can hold in my hands,” Wells said. “But that’s like wishing I could hold my children in my lap; it’s impractical and impossible (also, my legs would break). That time has passed.”

Wells also introduced a dream solution to keep Allure in print, making it a more robust, high-quality publication released quarterly à la indie magazines.

Not to be a purist, but there is just something special about holding a magazine — or newspaper — in one’s hands and thumbing through the pages. 

I understand environmental concerns regarding print. However, it is unnecessary to throw away magazines after reading them. I have a vast collection of magazines purchased and subscribed to over the years. When I no longer want them in their full form, I donate stacks, give issues to friends and use pages for crafts.

In fact, I believe print journalism should exist forever, if not for the journalistic content, then definitely for the potential resulting cutout crafts. 

Dori Gray is a senior journalism major at Ohio University. Please note that the ideas expressed in this column do not reflect those of The Post. Want to chat with Dori? Tweet her @dorigraywrites.

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