5 responses to “Why Martha Stewart (and Journalism) Slammed Bloggers”

  1. Katherine A.

    I think there is one other distinction between bloggers and magazine “experts.” Magazines predominantly make their money through advertising. This means that the majority of their “tips” encourage readers to buy and buy and buy. It’s been said again and again, “Oh you don’t like your home. Go buy a new pillow. Change the paint color.” Then, with next months edition of the magazine, change something again.

    Bloggers do make their money through advertising, but it looks so different than magazine advertising. Thus, bloggers can be honest! They can make money-saving suggestions rather than money-spending suggestions. They can encourage readers to use what they have, to share, to swap, to thrift!

    Thrifting does not drive the magazine market! But it can gather a large blogging audience.

    My newest edition of Elle Decor recommended buying high end furnishings, b/c the editor made the point that it is the high end companies paying for the development of new style. We all learned this lesson in the movie the Devil Wears Prada. His point was well-taken. However, a Martha Stewart is NOT developing anything high end. Rather, she is taking the high end and making it affordable for the common person, which means, that yes, her empire is in danger b/c of bloggers.

    Your article touches on this so well. Thank you for writing!

  2. Charles @ The Local Forkful

    This article is very well written and I agree. My blog is in its infancy and only a hobby at the moment but as someone who would like it to be a career option one day. Im saddened that Marthy would take a jab in this format. While Martha attacking those who in great part help sustain her isn’t the smartest idea. Hopefully she’ll be a little more tactful next time. I know several of my favorite blogs host MSL ads and love the product. While she has a point, she should definitely think twice.

  3. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)

    I completely agree with you Jen and with Meagan’s comment above.

    It is a fast-changing world in new media and the changes have pros & cons and affect people differently.

    It’s natural to be defensive when your job or business is being threatened, but it’s important to be respectful and aware of the new market conditions.

    Martha’s condescending words revealed she does not understand nor respect the new world of media.

    I will be first to admit how difficult it is to monetize writing in this new age and how hard it is to continue changing your business model to keep up with the market.

    I shared my opinions on her view of “experts” in my post… http://www.5minutesformom.com/83896/martha-stewart-lack-of-expertise/


  4. Meagan Francis

    I posted this at FB, but wanted to put it here, too, Jen.

    I keep thinking, what makes somebody an “expert” anyway. Being an editor at a glossy magazine?…sorry, no. In my years of writing for newsstand mags, I worked with or knew plenty of editors who assigned stories for parenting magazines, but had no children and knew nothing about parenting besides what they saw coming across in press releases and the pitches they got from their own writers. (I don’t think you need to be a parent to have expertise in children, but trust me, some of these editors were neither parents OR experts in the subject matter.) I remember an editor for a popular country lifestyle/gardening magazine admitting at a conference that he lived in an apartment in Manhattan and had no yard. (Again, if he can intelligently edit a story about it, I don’t much care. But an expert? Ahem….)

    Truth is – and this is something that surprised me when I first started freelancing – most of the people giving you advice from the glossy pages of those big name magazines aren’t “experts” according to Martha’s definition, and a lot of times the people who come up with the story ideas and assign them aren’t experts either, and the reporting that goes into the stories is often biased to begin with. Magazines: I love ‘em. But please, let’s be realistic about what they are.

    That said, it IS threatening to make a living providing information and suddenly find that world turned upside-down and your skills no longer as valuable as they once were, and there ARE bloggers out there who pass off bad information or blatantly steal other people’s work, and there AREN’T the same checks and balances in place to keep those things from happening as there used to be. It’s just how it is and Martha isn’t necessarily wrong to point that out.

    Anyway, that’s my long winded way of saying this is a complicated issue that goes beyond “rah rah, bloggers are great and Martha is evil.” I totally agree with Jen’s take that the playing field has been leveled, which is good in some ways and bad in others. But I’ll also challenge anyone who tries to say that an editor at a food magazine is necessarily more of an “expert” in cooking than somebody who’s making multiple meals per week for her own family. They’re experts in different ways, maybe, but in the end, if I come away with a recipe or new technique or idea that works for me, then the blogger’s real-life advice is just as valuable to me as the pretty pretty inspiration I get from the pages of Living.

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