i have a very strong nostalgic streak for national geographic magazine that stems, in part, from growing up in maine and perusing the large collection we had at our house. this was waaaaaaaaay before the internet and the magazine brought the world to our home. the mix of stories and powerful photography had a profound effect on me. i remember when the afghan girl issue came out and i stared at that cover with her haunting eyes for a long, long time. i have no doubt that the magazine planted the seed for my own love of taking pictures and telling stories. in a parallel universe very close to our own, i am probably a national geographic photographer.
now older and with a family, we’ve had a subscription to the magazine for years. and while we’ve all ( odin included ) enjoyed many of the issues, as the years have gone by it was hard to not feel like it was slipping. i couldn’t always quite put my finger on what was changing. at times i’d notice a creeping corporatism in the stories and it felt like it was losing it’s uniqueness. increasingly issues would be left unread. last month we let our subscription lapse and i had been debating whether or not to resubscribe.
this week it was announced that climate change denier rupert murdoch bought the magazine which i guess shouldn’t come as a surprise since his media company founded the national geographic cable channel in 1997 ( surely not a coincidence the channel is airing bill o’reilly documentaries ). the news spurred me to look into what had been happening with the magazine and i ran across an article written a few years ago by a longtime staff writer and editor for the magazine aptly titled ”what happened to national geographic?” that confirmed what we couldn’t quite articulate that led to our letting the subscription lapse.
any suggestions for print pubs that fill the gap left by the magazine will be greatly appreciated.
— Philip N. Cohen (@familyunequal) September 10, 2015