Just as Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspapers are trying to usher in a new era of paid for digital journalism people are taking another look at that ageing hippy of the magazine world Rolling Stone.
Founded by maverick publisher Jann Wenner 43 years ago in San Francisco Rolling Stone is in the spotlight again thanks to Michael Hastings’ devastating piece on general Stanley McChrystal, head of Nato forces in Afghanistan until president Barack Obama picked up a copy and found that McChrystal and his yobbish minions thought he and his advisers were a bunch of ignorant no-hopers.
But the Pentagon, and indeed the White House, aren’t the only institutions to be whacked with a joss stick recently. Last year Matt Taibbi wrote a devastating profile of giant investment bank Goldman Sachs which he described as “a giant vampire squid on the face of the world.”
The Golmanites, famously impervious to the opinions of anyone unless it costs them money, were gobsmacked, horrified and, dare one say it, rather hurt by this splendid piece of abuse.
Rolling Stone is still doing very nicely as a fortnightly print product in the digital world, selling around a million and a half copies.
Its staples are still music, culture and counter-culture although it has a distinguished record over the years in expensive investigative journalism too.
But it’s interesting that the issue with the explosive McChrystal revelations still featured Lady Gaga as the main image on the cover.
First things first.