Gal-dem has closed. Such sad news. What are people's thoughts? Why is operating a magazine/publication incredible hard these days?


  • Really sad news! A truly inspirational and an important magazine. Devastated that it is no longer.
  • @Nina-Sophia Miralles You're bang on. I feel this is an all too common trap for most in the creative industries. We usaually fail to realise that we're all mainly operating in the running of a buinsess rather than craft.
    Before too long we exhaust overselves.
  • @Euella Jackson Great points brought up about finding like-minded partners in values-led media. It does seem like an impossible task. Espeicially longterm.
  • It's incredibly sad. Alot of my friends and peers have and are part of the gal-dem journey. I think the thing that strikes me as the Co-Director of a mission-driven social enterprise, is that it feels like a lot of independent and values-led media outlets and organisations cannot sustain themselves in this climate while maintaining their integrity.

    Gal-dem mentioned that their main source of income was through partnerships, but finding like-minded partners who are also in a good financial position to partner is hard. I think as a community we need to seriously rethink how we can resource and be resourced to support the great work like gal-dem, black ballad etc, but the cost of living is COSTING. Are there alternative models?
  • @Nina-Sophia Miralles An indie publication can only strive, if you can offer the clients a product that, can ill afford to leave; this is something that they can't get from the main hunters in publication. For example stories and insights that can't be seen read or head anywhere else. Doing so viralises the content, so the job of running the day to day business is now let to your shoulders allowing your "baby" to grow with minimal input from the creator, becasue the crowd/auidence/clientele become custodians to your "child."

    You can still revive your publication, but charge the content to the demand. And you'll see where the comments fall, money!
  • I can confirm keeping an indie publication alive is absolute hell... even in the best of economic climates!

    I would say from my personal experience founding a magazine, the people who start indie magazines are usually passionate about a cause, or creatives with a vision. Neither of these are necessarily the business brains needed to run a fullscale company with such high overheads as magazines (although don't get me wrong, obviously there are business-minded mag founders).

    Personally I wasn't savvy at all, and it took me a lot of painful learning on the job, as well as financial gut-punches to learn enough to keep my head above water. Part of the problem is obviously trying to find ways to make money without charging your audience, as everyone is too used to free content now... it's tough!
  • They point out why they, specifically, are closing. Their membership model simply didn't work and couldn't support them as we head into another recession. Which is, unfortunately, part of being an independent publication where you're basically, in one form or another, crowdfunding. It's volatile and, without a steady stream of ad revenue, often leads to closures.

    For publications that find that ad revenue, often through aligning with larger brands (think Conde Nast, Bustle) that parent company more often than not only thinks of overhead and, in times like this, that leads to the mass layoffs we've seen as brands try to save money without compromising their own profit.

    Worth considering that there are A LOT of folks out there starting magazines/publications without knowing anything about it, and get blindsided by the costs of aspects like design, fair remuneration for content providers, and even more. Either they fold before they get started, or make a cheap product that can't sustain itself.

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