Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Quincy Jones hasn't only lost Michael Jackson this week, he's lost his print baby, VIBE.
As VIBE.com mourns the loss of Michael Jackson, journalists and hip hop lovers are mourning the loss of VIBE Magazine: the iconic magazine that reported on hip hop and R&B: the music, the culture, the celebrities and the politics. For many its just one more example of the magazine industry going down the drain. For those a bit more dramatic and sentimental (like me) its the sunset of an era. Dusk is coming and we're not ready. The Johnson Publishing Group also announced their fair share of problems last week meaning Ebony and Jet may also be facing the end. Black Enterprise isn't doing too well either. It seems that black printed media is coming to an end. And while other formats taking precedence (such as blogs), other media such as black television is already struggling to engage with black audiences on the level it needs to be.
Like most people shocked at the demise of VIBE, I wasn't a consistent reader. I never subscribed but would pick up the occasional issue from a newsstand. Perhaps I'm at fault...perhaps its the advertisers. Now critique as you may, but VIBE offered quality and standard journalism on topics and folks not being covered in your Entertainment Weekly (which loving all things tv related, I do thoroughly enjoy as well). It spoke to a demographic looking to read and learn about hip hop in a manner just as sophisticated as they could learn about Celine Dion. It also innovated and put out excellent journalists. During my first internship at a magazine my boss was a former Vibe Managing Editor. She rocked. Folks out there have had more than their fare share to say about whats been going on at VIBE recently (really people let everything out on Twitter) but all admit that its sad to see it go.
Now....go get your American Legacy, Essence, Ebony, Jet and Black Enterprise Subscriptions. I'm not yet publicly supporting The Source.
Pouring a little liquor and shedding a tear.