Turning a New Page
am glad to see the end of 2016 . In many ways it was as bad as Queen Elizabeth’s annus horribilis in 1992, or maybe even worse. From the sad loss of King Bhumibol to the closure of many print magazines, there wasn’t much cheer left come the yearend. And I am just talking about the l ocal situation, and haven’t even gotten onto the international stage, with its rise of irr ational, protectionist leaders who look ready to change the world order as we know it.
The w orst news to come out of 2016 , of course, was the death of the greatly loved and revered King Bhumibol. His passing marks the end of an era—in fact, the only one that most Thais have known, considering his 70year reign. The throne has now passed on to his son, HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, and all Thais look forward to a reign that we hope will be as magnanimous as that of his father.
Of immediat e effect to us is the closing of print magazines, the disappearances of which continued steadily throughout last year. Many of these publications had been around for many years but have been forced out by the rise of digital media, and it w as with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to them.
There is also no small measure of unease— even fear—among those that remain. After all, major advertisers are shifting a substantial amount of their budget from traditional media to digital. However, I am convinced there is still a place f or quality print publications—namely those that have adapted to the times. I believe that those that build a strong and engaging online presence in addition to their published editions will flourish in the smartphone age.
Thailand Tatler is, like all magazines, on an exciting journey, one that entails finding a balance between old media and new media. And it’s a balance I urge you, dear reader, to try and find too, as we gingerly ring in the New Year. Yes, the digital world, with all its lightning-fast news, information and entertainment, is something we’d now struggle to live without. But set aside some time in 2017 to pick up a carefully-crafted magazine, savour its beautiful pictures and well researched words, and I think you’ll agree that the same still goes for quality print.