How Low Can Journalism Sink? Retailer Selling Blank Paper Where They Used to Sell Magazines

Here is the magazine rack at my local Fry's Electronics store.  They used to sell a huge array of magazines.  Now they are selling blank notebook paper and spiral notebooks


It is bad enough that magazines were seen as a poor enough product that they get replaced by a bunch of generic, low-value, presumably low-margin items.  But I find it especially ironic that periodicals have been replaced by blank bound paper.  It implies that the paper in the magazines had value but the writing on them somehow reduced that value, such that they would rather just sell paper that is blank.


  1. LucidFur:

    The subject signs are still there. "women's general" "automotive technology". Nice touch.

    Other than home and auto installations, there's really no point in having stores like this anymore.

  2. DaveK:

    I decided a few years back that Frys was on a downward death-spiral. When they went to the "as-seen-on-television" trinkets for a big chunk of their store, it was bad, but when another piece of floor space got taken up by dollar-store toiletries and other equally awful junk, I knew they were toast. It's just that the corpse doesn't know it's dead yet.

  3. Dan Wendlick:

    It's the divorce of the value of the information and the paper. The paper with printing does become worth less, or indeed worthless, as soon as the next issue of the magazine comes out. The bulk blank paper retains its value until it's printing. Then it's value is driven by the information content alone.
    Electronic distribution has made the paper optional in distributing the information.

  4. J K Brown:

    A couple of quote that seem to reveal:

    In the precapitalistic ages writing was an unremunerative art. Blacksmiths and shoemakers could make a living, but authors could not. Writing was a liberal art, a hobby, but not a profession. It was a noble pursuit of wealthy people, of kings, grandees and statesmen, of patricians and other gentlemen of independent means. It was practiced in spare time by bishops and monks, university teachers and soldiers. The penniless man whom an irresistible impulse prompted to write had first to secure some source of revenue other than authorship.
    --Mises, Ludwig von (2010-12-23). The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality (LvMI) (pp. 26-27). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition

    That there was money to be made nevertheless by the sharp presentation of facts, and particularly of facts about America, was shown by the growing success of Time an expertly edited, newsy, and withal irreverent (though not at all radical) weekly and its younger sister Fortune (founded in 1930), which although edited by liberals for the benefit chiefly of the rich, developed such a brilliant technical team-research and team-authorship and trimmed its sails so skillfully to the winds of conservatism that it not only became a mine of factual material for future historians but subtly broadened reactionary minds. None of the other periodical successes of the decade promised to have so acute an effect upon the status of the writer as this adventure in writing a magazine inside the office; there were those who saw in it a threat of extinction to the free-lance journalist, a threat of the coming of the day when the magazine writer would have to look for an office job or be shut out from publication.
    -- Frederick Allen Lewis, 'Since Yesterday: The 1930s in America'

  5. Bill Drissel:

    What's a magazine (newspaper), Daddy?

  6. Ward Chartier:

    Fry's is inviting wannabe journos to write their own magazines by offering blank paper.

  7. SineWaveII:

    That really is an excellent metaphor for the state of modern print media.