The NME Printing Press Grinds to a Halt

Stopping for petrol on the tedious drive home last night, I mindlessly picked up a copy of Maxim.

Nostalgia kicked in as I pontificated the demise of the “Lads Mags” (FHM, Loaded etc) and marvelled at how magazines so influential and profitable fifteen years ago, had crumbled to nothing more than websites churning out the same homogenised tat as everyone else. How, or indeed why, Maxim’s decided to keep producing a print edition is unclear. But it looked, and felt, cheap and unloved. Strange coincidence then, that Australia woke to news of the New Musical Express (NME), another once great publication, canning its print edition.

Growing up in the UK in the noughties, the influence of the NME was already waning, not that we knew it, and the publication still held some clout in informing and dividing those of us entrenched in the British Indie revival of the 2000s. NME said it was hot, we listened. If we didn’t like it, we kept listening until we could at least appreciate what had been rammed down our throats “objectively”.

Alexis Petridis of The Guardian sums up this sentiment perfectly.”The truth is that the paper had umpteen ‘golden eras’, and, with the greatest of respect to everyone involved in its manufacture, their existence usually had less to do with the quality of the writing than whether or not you were 17 or 18 when you were reading it.”

The weekly paper became a “freesheet” in September 2015 and claimed the move as a quantified success. However, the change in format was really a sign of its descent into irrelevance. Whilst it feels like a loss to those of us who once relied on the NME for everything from opinions to dress sense, the fact that we haven’t thought about it, let alone attempted to buy a copy, since we stopped wearing circulation-preventing pants, suggests that it was time for the old dog to finally rest its head on the lawn. So long old friend, thanks for everything.

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