Editorial 2016

The Editor

says a few words in 2016

25th July 2016

Backstage at MIL

This editorial goes behind the scenes to tell the story of how it was compiled and released to the world.

Today I published the first edition of the first page our coverage of the Simon Says Festival. Before the festival had ended, I said I would publish the first part of the report on Moday.  So, I was obliged to keep to my word.

Monday – I worked from early in the morning to well into the evening, typing up the notes that were written as I watched the various acts at the festival. As soon as the first photos came in from the media team, I started to prepare them and get them uploaded to the site. By the end of Monday I had written up two days. I got the first edition of the Saturday page published, with at least some of the photographs. So, I met the deadline I had set myself. That left a lot of work to do.

Sunday’s page for example.  I knew that it would take the photograpers some time to get all their shots into me – it always has done. It would take me quite some time to go back over my copy, check it and add in any details that were missing.

The final version of the whole report would probably not be completed much before Friday (29th July.) But then Music in Leicester is a magazine; it’s not a newspaper.  So, what is the difference?  Well, for a start newspapers publish news pretty much as it happens. Real-time news feeds put stories up within hours – if not minutes – of them happening.  Magazines can take a more laid back approach; they can look back on the news, analyse it and give a bigger picture, not being tied up with reporting events as they happen.

Music in Leicester has always been an archival product. That means, when we publish something it stays published. You might say ‘ah yes but newspapers stay published too.’ Well of course. If you buy a  newspaper and put on a pile, it could still be there a year later. Have you seen what a year’s worth of newspapers looks like?

Our magazine was launched in June 2013.  The first pages are still live; they are still there to be read.  We might have changed some pages but pretty much every page we ever published is still available to be read, if you can find it. That is what being archival is all about.  So, in a netshell, our magazine provides a repository of things musical in Leicester from 2013 onwards. We have reports on festivals going back to 2013. In fact, we aslo published reports and articles from our sister magazine – Arts in Leicester – many of which had been taken down but which have been placed in an archive awaiting re-publication elsewhere.

People going to Simon Says in 2017 can look back to the previous year’s event and get an idea of what it was like.  That, we hope, provides the festival-going public with something of value. As I edited the material for the Simon Says report, I was conscious of the need to give people who were not present a feel of what it was like to be there. Covering that festival was a lot of work but then it was a pretty important event, not just in Leicester but in the country as a whole.

22/2/16

On the road

Well, it is January 8th.  Work on this magazine went on to the back-burner as I moved house.  Now I am back online and fairly well organised,  I am starting to think about the direction for the magazine over the year ahead.

Music in Leicester magazine launched in June 2013.  By the time we get to its third birthday, later this year,  some changes might take place; changes that I have begun to think about and to discuss with colleagues who have supported its progress and development for many months, if not years.

It is already a large thing: now having 513 pages it is nearing the 600 pages that there used to be on the old Arts in Leicester site. It seems to have been a success – if we judge that from the number of people who visit the site and have visited it since it started. If you published anything you want people to read it – you want an audience. It is the readers that make the effort worthwhile.

So how many people read this magazine? Here are some recent statistics:

2015

Hello Readers

Statistics about readers of this magazine

Total for year 1,645 visits

(Source: Jetpack)

Pages crawled per day (last 90 days)

High 4,073 Average 428

October 15 to January 12

Total clicks 3,200
(source: Google)
Yearly averages are computed from sums, not an average of monthly averages.
Averages are rounded to the nearest integer for display.

Due to a silly fault I managed to wipe out most of the stats from 2015.  One careless click and vast amounts of information can disappear from view.

All magazines want more readers but the current level is reasonable. It makes the work worthwhile. What I need to do is to streamline my workload. I enjoy editing magazines but I have plenty of other things in my life to be getting on with – not least writing books. So, I am thinking of ways of making what I do (as an editor) more productive; I doubt I can reduce my workload but what I might be able to do is to use my time more effectively.

Ideas about changes that could be made this year are being fielded with friends and colleagues.  No decisions have yet been made but thoughts are offered for consultation.

If you want to provide me with feedback, the best way to do that is to log into Facebook and post a message on my page – the one for Trevor Glyn Locke.

See also:

More thoughts about the editorial challenges of editing a music magazine.

My editorial from April last year which gives more background.