When I sample through such magazines, I immediately imagine an English single mother dating a Frenchman with a troubled sex life and a financial leverage to drink tea at the Dorchester hotel in London, in contrast with the profile of their potential readers from Jordan’s upper spheres!
First of all, why are they in English? I feel the big “I am Hypocrite” superscript floating on top of me right now since I am blogging in English, yet I still don’t get it, many magazines around the world are specialty magazines with limited readership that targets a limited specifically-interested niche willing to pay a premium for a magazine that wobbles about the bizarre interest they may have, and I know for sure that there’re business that exploits such interests whom are willing to pay a premium to advertise on these specialty magazines…. Nothing wrong with that (in terms of business)
But this is not the case with “life style” magazines; by definition they should be generic, variant and diverse in essence, as the sum of its material and editorials should have the widest circulation and appeal possible! So how could this be the case when the first thing such magazines do is minimizing their readership circle to the English-speaking niche only!
Perhaps they publish in English in order to "reach out" to the assumed-to-exist like-minded mindsets? and I ask; since when does mentalities can be profiled based on language?
They might be profitable for some awkward reason that mostly has to do with the conjured dynamics of the Jordanian marketplace… but definitely they have no clue who are they selling their magazines for and who's reading it.
I still feel mystified whenever I have the opportunity to vigilantly read through these magazines (frankly to avoid obscene imagery) as I am not sure who are they targeting? Just for once, I would like to plot a pattern of potential readers that fit a certain trend in our Jordanian society that can be identified by the publishers as a potential customer?
I feel disgusted every time I quote glimpse of the disgraceful publication “Layalina”, though I applaud the way they have conceptualized the magazine and how it gained steady foot in the market, the people behind it obviously did their homework, they identified a paying niche that would like to see people and be seen with people around town, and envisaged a magazine that fits their level of intelligence and involvement; minimum reading and maximum visual stimulus at a rather small premium with lots of potential advertisers! Later on, the poor "Layalina" punters are now paying to get their pictures floated on it while the magazine itself is being franchised around the region… a fine entrepreneurship example... alas in the wrong direction.
But the case of “Layalina” is solid even in the face of a fundamentalist like myself, I can confront its editors and ask them “Who reads your magazine?” and they’ll have an answer ready for me; I’ll give away my new car for anyone who can concisely outline the profile of the potential, say “Luxury” or “living well” magazines readers without referring to the fact that they have money to fork around on pointless publications!
Then comes the issue of content: The etiquettes of eating deserts? How to dump your boyfriend painlessly? 10 ways to enhance your sex life? 54 ways to know that he was cheating? Things to consider before buying a Yacht? How to get over an affair? Choosing the perfect Cigar to go with your cocktail party?… Oh’please… where do they think we're living at, my stomach is aching!
Thier professoinal look and feel, and the high caliber writing they may sport is not in question here, it just doesn’t make sense, which part of our culture do these magazines represent? What background do they come from? Do they reflect our reality as a whole society or just samples of unique individuals or phenomenas from it, or perhaps a mere imaginary society that is assumed to exist in the superb of Amman?
Why can’t they address serious issues rather than mimicking editorials and superimposing them upon the helpless niche that barely understand proper English yet alone to comprehend what it means to have a genuine “life style” in the first place?
Why can’t they tackle issues that are truly crippling the niche society they are targeting and the society as a whole: issues like the social inequality we live in, the surge in divorce rates, premarital sex, teenage pregnancies, insect sex, and tragic stories of gambling & alcohol poisoning… mind the cant-see-but-pure-evil rhetoric here
This might be too much to ask from a revenue seeking magazine, a publication full of such gibberish won’t sell for sure, but at least, when these magazines decide to get serious with their editorials, then at least they can pick issues and stories from our local environment!
At the end of this indiscriminate bash on a whole industry, I find myself obliged to credit “Jo” Magazine for they truly stand apart from its peers, despite the fact that they suffer from the same confused image they reflect, in general however; they exhibit sincerity, objectiveness and a professional editorial feel throughout the magazine, as they mostly seem focused on whom they’re targeting… I wish they do away with the semi/naked imagery and pointless articles!