Tiger Beat: Print or Online? My Impromptu Survey…

Is Justin Changing for Selena?
As I was getting everyone ready for school this morning, I looked over at the dinning room table and noticed my eleven year-old reading the latest issue of Tiger Beat magazine. I wouldn't say that seeing my daughter read is an unusual thing, but seeing her read a magazine made me wonder if maybe there was hope for print media like this with a younger generation. After all, I remember my older sister enjoying reading Tiger Beat (I was more of a Dynamite magazine reader at that age), and thought that maybe this is one of those areas of interest where a kid prefers the feel of a glossy magazine… choke full of 8 x 11 posters of the latest teen heart throbs. So, in the interest of science, I went over and asked her a few questions.
Dad: "Do you like reading Tiger Beat as a magazine?"
Daughter: "Yeah… I guess."
Dad: "Do you read it online?"
Daughter: "Yes."
Dad: "Which do you prefer?"
Daughter: "Online. It's much better online."
The results of this highly selective, double-blind, super scientific survey of my eleven year-old daughter tells me that print magazines are a novelty to these kids.

I actually got to looking at the website for Tiger Beat, and noticed that there are a lot of interesting, interactive things that kids can do online. Add to that the slick looking browse feature of this month's magazine (apparently Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are changing each other – just in case you were wondering), latest news, videos, comment features on each story, interactive polls, and most of the same glossy posters you get in the magazine… makes you wonder why a kid would even want to pick up the magazine in the first place. Then it hit me… I think she bought the magazine because I won't let her eat over by the computer and I won't let her use my iPad when she's eating breakfast. It seems that the only hope for pre-teen pop magazines is that parents all over the world making kids eat away from the computers in the house. I guess that's something for print publishers to hang their hopes on.

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Brian P. Craig said...

"[B]ut seeing her read a magazine made me wonder if maybe there was hope for print media like this with a younger generation."

Charles Laufer, the founder of Tiger Beat, died last month. The most interesting part of his Times obituary is that Laufer was "a high school teacher [who] in 1955 despaired that his students had nothing entertaining to read."

Thea Warner said...

I just had a flashback to middle school - girls would put up posters from Tiger Beat in their lockers. I had no idea the magazine was still around! Anyway, my 13-year-old son still reads print media, including a video game magazine he receives in the mail.


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