We thought the debate about journalists versus bloggers was over, but that was before we got a glimpse of the most recent issue of NAILS magazine. Hannah Lee, executive editor of the L.A.-based rag, has some choice words about beauty bloggers, complaining about their inclusion in press rooms, characterizing them as “looking for free handouts,” and calling on readers to “take back our place in the pecking order.”
Lee isn’t the first editor to shake a fist at bloggers. What’s odd is that she frames them as a threat to her readers. NAILS is a trade magazine, written for nail technicians and salon owners, professionals who have little to fear from consumer bloggers. It’s Lee herself, her magazine, and all of us journalism professionals who are in direct competition with bloggers.
I feel for Lee. As a media critic and journalist, it frustrates me to see professional standards increasingly kicked to the curb in a desperate rush to compete with amateur bloggers. But as an occasional beauty blogger for Huffington Post, I often take the time to read my “competition,” the sort of amateur beauty bloggers Lee is complaining about. And the fact is, some of those bloggers are creating content as compelling as anything you can find in the leading women’s magazines.
Whatever us editors may wish for, bloggers – consumer and otherwise – aren’t going away. And we’ve got to find a more innovative way to work within this changing media landscape than complaining about an out-of-date pecking order.