“So friends, tell me: what are your thoughts on your favorite gardening mags? Are they as good as they always were? Do you find yourself wanting more from their articles? Have you noticed a dumbing down, a tendency towards sound-bite or news-clip type short pieces rather than something you can really enjoy? Or am I being picky?”
I answered this:
I think garden magazines are a victim of their own popularity. They are dumbed down, but that is because “in the old days” they were seasonally produced at most, and were more of an additional resource, so they could have more indepth articles.
Once you produce something more prolifically the expertise and the focus take a hit. Not to mention the costs involved which have to be offset by reaching a broader audience and including more ads.
I think we see this in the internet as well. In garden literature as a whole the move towards a more visual experience detracts from the writing, and that is something I had to face in my own sites. I’m no photographer, but that is what is popular for websites. I recently made my own decision to choose the path less traveled and try to improve my writing, rather than increase my efforts at photography which -frankly- I suck at.
I guess there is always that choice and the choices made have watered down the quality of the magazines, but I still will buy something if it appeals to my sense that there is something of value offered. Just not as often I used to.
Same with garden books.