A couple of days ago my favourite parenting magazine Mothering said that it could no longer sustain the magazine portion of their business and that they are going to go towards an information/web only form of publication.
I was shocked. Mothering has been around since the late 70's! I could not believe that such an important part of my information gathering was going to be no more. I give out these magazines to clients and to friends who have babies and so I am sad that this part of the company will be no more. I love the realness of a magazine, the smell, the feel and the fact that I can stash them just about everywhere. I will have to guard my back issues that much more carefully. :)
I have been thinking alot on why this has happened. Of course the American economy is partly to blame, and they could have too much staff or what have you. But I think the real reason is because they are no longer a "Fringe" magazine.
Let me explain. For many many years Mothering has been accepted by one type of person. Your super crunchy attachment parent. (of course Natural Family Living as well). So you had one type of subscriber that would pay $30 or more (which is almost double than other "mainstream" parenting mags) because they wanted to feel that others felt the same way.
After 2005, "AP" became more "mainstream". I used to be on a parenting support forum that really was a proponent of Crying it Out, or smacking, or yelling and all out "seen but not heard" children. I went back again to see what their thoughts were, just because I was curious, and instead they were talking about their favourite slings, cloth diapers, sleeping in the same bed as the baby, and nursing well past a year.
I was kinda thrown.
But it's true. Attachment parenting principals are becoming more widely used. Mostly because parents are listening to their guts and not the textbook, or the doctor, or their mom, or whoever...just themselves.
And so with this "trend" mainstream magazines are more likely to print about safe ways to sleep with your baby, how to breastfeed, and what sling is the most awesome....and that takes market share away from Mothering as you can get 24 issues of Todays Parent for $1! (which is way cheaper...)
In a way, they kind of helped to make themselves obsolete.....and I am not sure if that is good or bad in the end.