Friday, October 22, 2010

Vice – the future of magazines?

A recent piece in the Independent profiled Vice magazine and its editor Andy Capper.
The article touches so many points that reflect on modern journalism it's worth reading for that alone, even if you're not bothered about magazines (although I assume that most people who stumble across this blog will be).
A few extracts:
This month, Vice's British operation moved into large new offices on the site of a former Shoreditch dairy, opening 25 film-editing suites in the process. Capper, who began his journalistic career covering court cases in Lancashire, hopes to create something of the charged atmosphere of a newsroom. Potentially it will be a magnet for young British multimedia journalists.

[Ian] Hislop is Capper's "main hero", for "how he looks into stories and reports things outside of the Max Clifford world of media". He cites Private Eye as "the best British magazine" and would like Vice to be regarded as "a young person's Private Eye", later expressing an ambition to be seen as "a young person's CNN". 

[Capper] claims that news stories of interest to young people are being ignored by a mainstream media distracted by celebrity journalism. "The obsession with celebrity at every single news outlet has worked to our benefit. You get guys with these amazing stories that no one will print and we become an outlet for them," he says, adding that Magnum, the photographic agency set up by Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Capa, "send us their stories, where before they were sending them to The Observer or the Telegraph." 
Find the full article at
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Success for Cardiff at Magazine Academy

Cardiff students from the Postgraduate Magazine Diploma won two major awards at Magazine Academy last night.

Our course magazine re:new took top prize in the New Digital Product Concept category. The website involved the whole re:new team but was steered to its prize-winning form by the hard work and dedication of Aimee Steen and Josie Allchin. Associate lecturer Simon Williams must also take a bow for his invaluable input and without Ruth Harrison, whose idea it was, there would have been no magazine.

This year's Magazine Academy saw a new award – the opportunity for shortlisted students to become editor of 100 Voices, a multimedia magazine launched by Redwood Publishing for Barclays Bank (catchline: "By students with more sense than money"). I am proud to say that, after a round of searching interviews, Angharad Jones is the first winner of this fantastic prize.

Our other course magazine, ivy, was also shortlisted – given the level of competition Magazine Academy inspires this is a major achievement in itself.

Perfect timing for the 40th Anniversary of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University.

Josie Allchin, Aimee Steen, Ruth Harrison and Angharad Jones at the Magazine Academy awards in Vinopolis

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A new "metaphor" for magazines: 2

Lo and behold, another voice adding to the debate about reinventing media forms and formats for new platforms – but Steve Smith also considers the possibility of rediscovering formats that have been tried before.

After the App Frenzy... A New Medium

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Print appears to be alive and well

At the start of a new term at Cardiff University I wander into newsagents looking for something with which to dazzle our fresh cohort. As we are in one of the messiest economic messes ever messed I didn't have high hopes but without trying at all hard I came out with quite a haul of new titles, in print, on paper.

To wit:
Clint – a pulp-style comic for adults who like graphic novels and the movies that derive from them. Features an impressive new strip written by Jonathan Ross and has even roped in Huw Edwards to "present" one section.

Company High Street Edit – a beautifully produced offshoot of Company (and not the first issue, as it turns out, but new to me).

Oh Comely – I'm still not sure what it's about but it's lovely, and independent (and not the first issue again; I bought the second). The website declares "oh comely is a magazine about people and their quirks and their creativity, rather than money and what it can buy".

X magazine – obviously I had to cheat for this one as it's only available in Tesco. However, the fact that it is a tv tie-in/brand extension is interesting, even if all of the people featured in the first issue seem to be connected to Simon Cowell in some way.

I have heard or read about other new print titles (Privateer among them, although £9 for the launch issue seems to represent the outer limits of affordability) so my conclusion must be that the death of print has been much exaggerated.

At least that's what I told the students ...

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A new "metaphor" for magazines

The ever-reliable Mindy McAdams has posted about the need for news organisations, and magazines, to come up with something utterly new for the new tablet-based platform(s) that are beginning to wash around us (see the @Yelvington post that inspired Mindy).

I mention this because there's something in the air around metaphors and the way we read or interact with things. (David Hepworth has also been thinking about magazines on the iPad and in Zinio.)

I don't have an answer. I'm not even sure I know what questions to ask but my model is radio. Radio survived talkies and the telly and the internet and now seems to be getting a whole new lease of life via digital broadcasting/narrowcasting. Think and Spotify – the power to "broadcast" has shifted from the corporation/dj to the consumer. What's the equivalent in magazine terms?

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