Aug 13, 2008

Pacific Magazine Ceases Publication

Pacific MagazineThe July-August 2008 issue of Pacific Magazine will be the last. After 32 years, the Hawaii-based news magazine will cease to be a print publication. Publisher Floyd K Takeuchi cited flat circulation, rising postal costs, and competition from the internet as reasons for Pacific’s demise. The magazine intends to carry on as a web-only news portal, but online it will be competing with dozens of other South Pacific internet news sites while as a print publication its sole competitor was Fiji-based Islands Business.

The loss of Pacific Magazine is a sad landmark in the history of Pacific journalism. Pacific’s coverage of events in Micronesia and American Samoa was unsurpassed, and their format was visually pleasing. Departments like High Tide, Pac Notes, Air + Sea, Stuff We Like, Pac Travel, and People Briefs contained little gems of information not found elsewhere. The photography was excellent, making each issue a joy to peruse. And for readers in US postal zones, the subscription rate was much lower than that of Islands Business.

Of course, Pacific Magazine’s situation is not unique. Newspapers and magazines worldwide are hemorrhaging readers and advertising revenue to the internet. Travel guidebooks are also feeling the pinch as people surf for free information. Moon Handbooks South Pacific was discontinued after 28 years when the cost of production exceeded income from book sales. Only amateurs work for free, and much of the travel information currently on the web is the unedited and incomplete work of amateurs. Most of the rest is paid advertising.

I sincerely hope Pacific Magazine’s advertisers stick with them online so they can continue covering the Pacific islands as they have up until now. Nevertheless, I’m going to miss the printed magazine which I’ve indexed and used as a primary reference for three decades. My thanks to editor Samantha Magick and publisher Floyd Takeuchi for all their hard work, and I wish them every success in their new web-only format.

South Pacific Travel Blog: Pacific Magazine Ceases Publication