Reflections on studying at NMIT – Part 2 – Magazine II

Funny old things magazines. There are almost as many magazines in the world as there are people. Yet there are also anomalies called niches and this is where our attention has been directed as students. Our objective has been to identify a niche and come up with a magazine concept to fill it. The end product was either a print ready magazine or an e-magazine with all the necessary interactive links. The choice was ours.

It was a steep learning curve and I felt rather like a novice standing at the top of the Olympic ski jump. Sooner or later I just had to push-off and fly. The time passed like a really transient thing. Whooshka! We sucked up knowledge like little vacuum cleaners. We scoured magazines on the Internet and in print. We went to the biggest magazine shop in Melbourne. We even hung around doctors’ waiting rooms without an appointment just so we could research old magazines. In the end I felt like a computer that had been force fed data. I even saw magazines in my sleep.

Yesterday we had to present our own magazine projects to our lecturer and fellow students. Mine is called ‘Basilisk’. It is a satirical and hopefully funny publication that looks at aliens, spooks and other scary stuff with an open mind. As my start up budget is non-existent I invented advertising; ‘Spend Halloween at Dracula’s Castle’; ‘Purchase that special pet from’; and ‘Build Your Own Scale Model of Cape Canaveral’.

There is a feature article about the spread of Loch Ness Monsters around the world, A guide to UFOs and an interview with Edgar Allan Poe. Of course we also welcome readers’ contributions. Watch this blog for more details.

I think that the main things I learned were that a magazine involves hard work; imaginative layouts; appropriate fonts; great illustrations; wonderful photographs AND commitment. I am now looking forward to dealing with temperamental contributors, wealthy advertisers and the salesmen at the local Mercedes Benz dealership.



Genesis of a magazine

Recently I have been considering giving birth to a magazine. ‘Not another bloody rag!’ I hear some of you exclaim. ‘Yes’ is my witty retort. In search of concepts and inspiration we(non-royal usage) ventured to Magnation in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. This place is an amazing three stories of mags and newspapers from all over the world. It is worth a visit even if you just want to look at the pictures (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more).
The good news was that I found few potential rivals in my proposed niche market. The bad news was that none of them contained much in the way of inspiration. The conclusion was that I will be like a blind man flying a faltering stunt plane into the teeth of a raging snowstorm.
But that’s okay. Tangible dangers are something I can cope with it’s the lurking type of danger that really worries me (spiders, tigers, that sort of thing).
So here’s the plan.
1. It will be a slightly kooky mag that deals with a wide range of subjects from spooks to monsters and flying saucers.
Yes, you guessed it another celebrity/film star/crash diets smorgasbord for those with no lives of their own. No? Well good thing I am just kidding.
2. Funding needs to be sourced from grants and far-sighted investors.
3. There will be sponsored competitions for readers along with reader contributions.
4. The mission is to ‘Intrigue, Inform and Entertain’.
5. there will be a nice balance of text, artwork and pickies.
6. Publication will be quarterly.
7. A website and app will be developed.
8. There will be interviews and via ouija board I have already lined up Edgar Allan Poe, Isaac Asimov and Jules Verne.
Now all I need to do is chase the cash while producing the necessary copy.
As my meerkat mates would say, ‘Simples. Tsk!’