Chapter 5

Content 1

Managerial skills are necessary for every editor, but on their own they are not the basis on which you will be judged. Your success will reflect your ability to create a convincing editorial vision and bring it into being by inspiring and directing a group of staff. The content of your magazine will not always determine its fortunes on the news-stands, but in the long term it is fundamental to the success or failure of the whole publishing enterprise. As an editor your aim should be to release the creativity and ingenuity of your staff, while ensuring that everyone involved with the magazine understands its essential identity.


BALANCE

The efforts that you have made to understand your readers should give you a strong idea of the subject matter that interests them. You may even have arrived at a set of 'musts' to be included in each individual issue, or distributed across a series of them. The degree to which each issue has to be comprehensive is linked to frequency of publication. Weeklies can maintain a balance of subject matter across several issues, whereas monthlies or quarterlies need to ensure that the most significant topics for their readership are included in each issue.

Your research may have told you which subjects people say they have an interest in. But the real art lies in assessing how far that 'interest' goes towards being an actual 'need'. You may feel that the facts of people's lives, in the case of consumer magazines, or their professional status, in the case of business publishing, may be more important.

Once again, you should look to the reader's self-interest as a guide: what am I, as a reader, going to find in this magazine that will give me and my family (or my firm, or my department) a definite advantage over those who have not read it? This means telling people things that are new and useful: what they don't need to hear are things they already know. The 'so what?' factor can be enormously destructive, whether you are editing a professional journal reporting stories a week or a month late, or a women's magazine

-99-

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Magazine Editing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Becoming an Editor 4
  • Chapter 2 - The Editor and the Reader 26
  • Chapters 3 - The Editor and the Team 52
  • Chapter 4 - The Editor and Money 84
  • Chapter 5 - Content 1 99
  • Chapter 6 - Content 2 127
  • Chapter 7 - The Editor and the Visual 147
  • Chapter 8 - The Editor and Production 179
  • Chapter 9 - The Editor and Technology 194
  • Chapter 10 - The Editor and the Public 208
  • Chapter 11 - The Magazine Business 228
  • Appendix 1 254
  • Appendix 2 - Press Complaints Commission Code of Practice 256
  • Glossary 260
  • Index 271
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