[Libs-Or] National Geographic - long post

Liz Paulus LizP at wccls.org
Fri Nov 6 10:57:38 PST 2015

In response to Gretta’s question about the recent news of layoffs and changes at NationaI Geographic:

In my opinion, I don’t think the general public really knows how this is playing out so fast, nor how media can be easily skewed to another perspective. (Info literacy 101 – we teach it every day at the library, if we’re lucky to get the chance. This is a great example of a teachable moment – but maybe it’s too late already.)

NatGeo has been going this way for a while, but at least until recently the ownership were more connected with the original mission of the society. The brand recognition for the yellow-border cover is so huge (which has been brilliantly leveraged through social media) that regardless of the content, it still carries the gravitas of that 127-year history. My theory is that most people won’t notice, since the rest of the media they consume is cast in this entertainment-based light.

By coincidence, the Tech Services staff just put a new map on my desk, from the most recent issue of NatGeo – “Amazonia – the Human Impact” – which shows credits including the datasets metadata used, funding for the map by nonprofit foundations as well as the Bio Program of the Inter-American Development Bank. I wonder if some of the editors and researchers of the map have lost their jobs, and whether those funders will be working with Nat Geo in the future?  How long will this portal be visible on their website?

As librarians, we try and reflect the interests of our community in our collections. It will be interesting to see how libraries respond to this change in content of a venerable brand.

Liz Paulus
Electronic Resources Librarian / Adult Services

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From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of David Brown
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2015 12:10 PM
To: Gretta Siegel
Cc: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] National Geographic

I have a friend who works for NG right now (not cut!), and she watched all her office mates get laid off this last week. Listening to her about the changes coming down the pipeline, I am not going to be seeking out a new subscription to NG at all. Sounds more commercialized, politicized, and less exploratory.

David Adkins-Brown
adkinsbr at usc.edu<mailto:adkinsbr at usc.edu>
greenlionrampant at gmail.com<mailto:greenlionrampant at gmail.com>

"As my dear departed friend Lotus Weinstock used to say: "I used to wanna change the world. Now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity." " - Justin Bond

On Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 7:48 AM, Gretta Siegel <bvsg at pdx.edu<mailto:bvsg at pdx.edu>> wrote:
As a retired Geography (among other things) Librarian - I am curious to know what kind of response libraries are having around the wholesale changes around National Geographic Magazine?
Gretta Siegel
Professor Emeritus
Portland State University

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