A close friend of mine is part of the team that’s been left heartbroken by the closure of Shortlist magazine, the free magazine distributed mainly in London.
It’s a big loss – not just to him, but everyone. If FHM was a boozy New Year’s Eve with bad (yet fun) life decisions, Shortlist to me always felt like New Year’s Day – a magazine that told men it was important to be aspirational, to have goals that went beyond getting hammered on a Friday. It celebrated talent over basic celebrity, and its cover stars were not soap stars with their boobs out, but interesting and noteworthy people worth listening to.
In his final editor’s note, Joe Mackertich tackles the end of not just his magazine, but of this era in UK media entirely. From Loaded to today it’s been an evolution of men’s mags at a time in history when what it means to be man has evolved too. What will happen to the direction of that change now we’re headlong into the internet era? I can’t help feel that many young men, who would have been brought up on reading magazines, are instead being made angry by what’s out there on social media. The minimal but meaningful progress we’ve made in leaving the “lad” mentality behind is in danger of being overshadowed by a different kind of toxic masculinity. On the internet, it’s more effective and profitable to wind up young men, rather than entertain them.