Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni is in love. And he’s not afraid to say so.
“I have been in love with the printed word since I was a mere boy of nine-years-old,” Husni relates in a recent blog post.
“I have over 35,000 first edition magazines in my collection, some dating back to the late 1800s. In fact, recently I have been digging through the Mr. Magazine™ Classic Vault of vintage magazines and the experience has been unbelievable,” Husni continues. “The fact that magazines over 100 years old are still just as relevant and captivating as they were the day they were first published is a statement in and of itself.”
At the same time, Husni is very much a 21st-century man. As to the recent angst over print versus digital, he takes a pragmatic and sensible approach.
“It’s the 21st century, folks; we can have both. It stands to reason if you have a print magazine in your left hand and an iPad in your right; you’ve already solved the publishing dilemma that we entertain in this era. You already have BOTH,” he rightly notes.
If that’s the case, then what’s behind all the rampant disruption in the magazine world?
“The problem is our tendency to fret or panic,” Husni asserts. “And there is no need for that because there is a place for both, print and digital.
“Print is something that our audiences want; therefore we have to give it to them,” he states. “When we forget the importance of the one and only reason we exist; we create, we design and we plan for our audience, that’s where we get into trouble.”
Husni has been a vocal proponent of the audience-first movement, holding that flag high while publishers scrambled to sort out a future that included digital and print. Our readers, he reasoned, are largely platform agnostic, even if we as publishers are not.
And as younger readers spend more time with print magazines, publishers are seeing the light. The future of magazines is moving past the disruption and on to the money. For all of digital’s appeal, print offers collectability, a sense of touch, me-time and that real engagement that, for Husni’s money, you just won’t find in digital.
The love is real.