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Old 02-21-2012
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the inevitable slow death of sailing journalism - does it matter?

Last week I went down to Imperial College in London to give a talk to the members of the Imperial College Yacht Club. I love talking to sailors - especially young intelligent beautiful people fresh into adulthood.

The fact that they turned up in a lecture room on a rainy evening to meet an old windbag was rather flattering. We met at six and started eating pizza and coke before we started.

In the old days I used to prepare for talks.. Then I discoverd that the best thing to do is to get the person who asked me to come to choose the films from my website (250 there at the moment) they want to show. It allows the discussions to drift around in the direction they want it to go.

I always use the talks as a way of doing some market research. We started talking about the way they learn about sailing

blogs, free books and the sailing anarchy website.

They asked about financing the journey so we went onto subscriptions, DVDs and magazine journalism.

I mentioned the magazines I write for none of them had ever bought them.

. "Old news" was their response to newspapers and magazines.

Some of them had visited my website - but none of them were subscribers - they had watched the free stuff and drifted on

They basically regarded journalism, books, music and films as being free at the point of digital demand. All but one said they had ad-blockers on their browsers.

It made me realise I am lucky that I have been able to read some brilliantly written magazines over the years - and even write the odd the item or two

I think there is a sort of fin de siecle feel about magazines now.

Sadly they are probably doomed when my/our generation dies or forgets where their glasses are because the magazines will plain run out of readers.

not sure where that leaves me and the other sailing hacks.

Blathering away into the ether I reckon

on the positive side I have since had orders from the students for five sets of DVDs - which they said they were going to copy for themselves and then pass the proper disks onto their dads

there I feel better now


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Last edited by dylanwinter1; 02-21-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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