A Flare for the digital



Fall semester is coming to an end, and for some students that means heading off to the (semi) real world for work placements. Gone are the early morning bus rides, the naps on school couches and the strictly Tim Hortons diets. Instead, we get to experience cubicles, bosses and deadlines.

I’m lucky enough to be heading to Toronto for a three-week internship with Flare magazine. Or at least I thought I was lucky until I read an article in The Globe and Mail this week with the headline, “Rogers pulling Flare magazine from newsstands next year.” I stared in shock and considered running up and down the streets of The Exchange District yelling, “PRINT IS DEAD! THE DAY HAS COME.”

Until, of course, I read further into the article.

It explained the publisher felt traditional stand sales were too old-fashioned for the millennial-aimed magazine. Digital circulation of the magazine is up to 29 per cent of readership, according to the article. The magazine will likely turn subscription-only or start uploading more stuff to its website, Instagram and app.

Flare is not the only publication succeeding digitally. The New York Times reached one million digital-only subscribers this year.

The media’s transition from print to online is not a new issue — no pun intended. It is the first time, however, that these changes have directly affected me. Much of the interview for my internship was focused on writing for the web. They asked me for ideas for web content, how to write for an online platform and how I would utilize the magazine’s Instagram, Twitter and iPhone app.

One serious interview question was how I would respond to Drake’s new “Hotline Bling” music video.

As young producers and consumers of media, this switch to online platforms should matter to us. Soon we’ll be devouring Cosmo sex tips solely online and admiring Justin Timberlake’s abs only through our phone screens.

The switch to digital will touch our future jobs, no matter our line of work. Interviewers will ask us about our ability to navigate digitally. We’ll stare at screens more than we stare at our bosses.

So the next time your mom yells at you for being on your phone at the dinner table as you painfully shovel down her dry pork roast, tell her you’re preparing for your digital future. Besides, she can email you if she has anything important to say.

Riley Chervinski is a journalism student, soccer player

and reader of cringe-worthy chick-lit. You can usually find her

scrolling through Tumblr, scoping out recipe blogs or

laughing at her own jokes @rileychervinski.