Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Micro-blog updates

Canadian Writers Group launches May 11

An interview in the Ryerson Review of Journalism with Derek Finkle, founder of the Canadian Writers Group, reveals that the agency will go to bat for the over 50 writers that have signed with it.

In the interview, Finkle discusses why freelancers aren't willing to negotiate:
The reality is, to make it as a freelance writer, it requires almost perverse perseverance.
And I think, unfortunately, a lot of even established freelance writers have a kind of inferiority complex that’s been drilled into them over the years–one of many reasons why they don’t negotiate very well.
And why it's time for magazine writers to have agents:
It’s worked pretty well in the book world. It’s worked pretty well in the film world. It’s worked pretty well in just about every other creative field you could think of. So I don’t really know why it wouldn’t work as well here. And an agent can say things that writers are very reluctant to say.

US Circulation Spill Continues Decline
According to a Magazines Canada report, the downward slide of US circulation in Canada continues. The report finds that:
Total US circulation, as measured by ABC, has declined by one-third whereas average circulation per US spill title has declined by one-half over a 25-year period. Average spill circulation is now 13,435 copies per average US issue.
Only three US magazine titles crack Canada's list of top 100 circulation magazines: National Geographic (35th); Cosmopolitan (61st); and People (97th).
Canadian publishers are reaching Canadians:
Canadian content publishers, launching an average of 60 new magazine titles each year, are effectively repatriating readers from US titles looking for editorial and advertising content that meets unique Canadian needs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Alberta Magazines Score National Accolades

Congratulations to AMPA member Alberta Views for its nomination as Magazine of the Year at the 32nd Annual National Magazine Awards. The award honours "the magazine that most consistently engages, surprises and serves the needs of its readers." A frequent nominee and winner on the awards circuit, we're keeping our fingers crossed for an Alberta win**

Alberta Views is up against Spacing and Canadian Business for the award, and the winner will be announced at the National Magazine Awards Gala on June 5, 2009.

Other nominations include:
Essays - Chris Turner, The Big Decision, ALBERTAVIEWS
Sports & Recreation - Craig Davidson, Urban Brawl AVENUE
Still Life Photography - Clinton Hussey, Sea Change WESTERN LIVING

Calgarian Kris Demeanour is winner of Best New Magazine Writer for an article entitled “Get a Real Job” that appeared in Unlimited magazine's Jan-Feb 2008 issue. Unlimited is, for the time being, solely web-based.

up! magazine's contributing editor Chris Koentges has been nominated for 5 writing awards.

The now defunct CalgaryInc is also up for an award for Best Single Issue for its popular Top 40 Under 40 issue.

Congratulations to all the nominees!


Earth Day - support Markets Initiative

Feeling green? Put your green to work and donate to Markets Initiative, an environmental organization that works with publishers and printers to protect endangered forests, reduce paper consumption, stimulate environmental solutions, leading to climate control and cleaner air and water.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day is tomorrow - AMPA does its part, will you?

The March 28th Earth Hour event saw households worldwide go lights off for an hour (between 8:30 – 9:30 p.m.). This year, Edmonton’s energy consumption dropped 5.2 percent, while Calgary’s 1 percent dip is nothing to brag about, but certainly not as embarrassing as 2008’s 3.6 percent rise in consumption.

Since tomorrow is Earth Day, AMPA thought we should reflect on our eco-efforts.

It’s as simple as taking baby steps to reduce our carbon footprint—we don’t turn on the office lights (having a window office helps), turn off power bars at the end of the day (who needs phantom power?), group mailings or eliminate altogether where possible (we have awesome friends/mail mules), run errands all at once (operative word: run).

For the 2009 Alberta Magazines Conference March 19 & 20th, we greened up by:
- making our registration packs with green products. The reusable cloth bags were made from recycled pop bottles and designed to minimize the use of inks for printing.

The notebooks were made of recycled paper.

The lanyards were made of bamboo and we asked for its return from attendees.

- Precycling by asking sponsors to limit their paper materials in the registration packs.

- We used online registration and almost all correspondence via email, such as: receipts, invoices and registration confirmations.

Whatever it is that you do, remember that it can be as simple as bringing your thermos to a coffee shop or using fewer squares of toilet paper--every little bit helps.

Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eco-paper policies contribute to protection of millions of hectares of rainforest

Photo: Andrew Wright

The Great Bear Rainforest’s 2 million hectares have been formally protected, thanks in part to the support of the Canadian magazine industry and all the eco-paper policies spearheaded by Markets Initiative (MI).

The forest is a boon in terms of carbon stored per hectare, and with its protection, First Nations communities have the chance for a prosperous and sustainable future.

Over the past ten years Markets Initiative has worked closely with its environmental allies working to secure protection in the Great Bear Rainforest. MI engaged many publishing and print partners to encourage the BC government as well as the pulp and paper producers in the region to (initially) reach the GBR Agreement, and in more recent years, to actually live up to that commitment. Over the past ten years, many of the companies we work with have participated in this campaign.

As part of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement:
• 2.1 million hectares of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest has been formally protected

• $120 million in new financing is already flowing into local and First Nations communities to kick start new conservation economies in the region

• Regulations set for ecosystem based management (or “lighter touch logging”) – these regulations put an additional 700,000 hectares of high value forests off limits to logging

Congratulations to all the environmental organizations involved for their tenacity and commitment to providing a legacy and leader for the world.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Profiles West launches

A new magazine about the people, personalities and passions of Western Canadians launched March 2009. Created by Mount Royal College's (MRC) Faculty of Communications Studies, the bi-yearly magazine is dedicated to telling stories of compelling westerners.

In the inaugural online issue features full-length profiles written by students from the journalism degree program at MRC. of Calgary hockey figures, Rick Alexander (founder of the National Sport Development program) and University of Calgary Coach Danielle Goyette.

They are joined by political profiles of Alberta MLA Harry Chase and Independent federal candidate Kirk Schmidt.

Profiles West is available online at: http://www.profileswest.ca/

The first print version is being offered as a supplement to The Calgary Journal. http://www.calgaryjournalonline.ca/

For more information or to interview a student author contact:

Terry Field, Chair
Department of Journalism
Mount Royal
Office: 403.440.6189
Email: tfield@mtroyal.ca

Janice Paskey, BJ, MA
Journalism Faculty
Faculty of Communication Studies
Mount Royal College
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
403 440-8744

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A good photo is hinged on trust

Another successful AMPed Up session took place today at The Glenbow Museum. George Webber, local renowned photographer, thoughtfully and openly shared many stories relating to his 'Hutterite Traditions' series of photographs on display at The Glenbow until April 13, 2009. These photographs stretch beyond mere documentation of a private colony unfolding as stories of relationships -- to places, peoples and traditions. The personal relationships Webber has established with many of the Hutterites from the Little Bow Colony are that of poignancy.

It is in these relationships between photographer and subject that trust develops and good photographs result. "A good photo is hinged on trust," Webber notes during his presentation. "Sometimes it's given before we've earned it, and other times it takes time to build."

As an extension of this trust, he sees great value in the working relationship between art directors, editors, photographers and the like. To have open dialogue and parameters set ahead of time avoids unnecessary tension and work. When possible, having an art director on location for a photo shoot can be very useful for both parties involved. He also stresses the importance of knowing where your images come from -- know who the source is.

Session attendees had the chance to share with George and the group some of their experiences and magazine samples for feedback. Great discussion ensued including image manipulation concerns, model release ethics, appropriation questions, publication rights, stock photo usage and cover layout/design. Following are brief notes on some of these issues:

Image manipulation: for assignment based work, photographer assumes there will be some manipulation to accommodate logistics. For example, if shooting a cover, it is necessary to be mindful of text and other information intended for the image. Some compromise is needed; sometimes things are removed or added. It is important to be truthful about the intent of such work, and to make it known to readers to maintain journalistic integrity.

Model release: can be broken down into two main categories -- one is made up of editorial/artistic/documentary and the other commercial. If an image is used for editorial, artistic or documentary, it is not necessary to employ model release forms (although, it's always best to check the latest on FOIP and with the publication in question). If model releases were needed for all of these purposes, the whole media world would essentially collapse; no newspapers, documentary films, magazines, photos or any other type of cultural creations would be possible. Still, if possible, it never hurts to ask for permission, just to be safe.

For the purposes of commercial, written release should be sought.

Publication rights: one-time production rights or first print rights are the most commonly used for photos in magazine publishing. George sees this as good practice. It allows magazines to showcase the work, but still allows photographers the opportunity to sell to various clients to increase exposure to a body of work.

See more of George's works at: georgewebber.ca.

-Stef Wong

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cover Innovations

Esquire has come up with yet another cover gimmick designed to get people talking, get newsstand sales and generate ad sales.

In the past year, Esquire has introduced a cover flap in the middle of the page, with advertising on the underside; and an electronic paper cover that allowed the cover copy to flash to comemmorate their 75th anniversary. 

Now they've created a perforated cover that allows the reader to easily rip the cover in two places as well as to rip the following two "covers" and then make up to 27 combinations of the faces of Barak Obama, Justin Timberlake and George Clooney. Not sure what I mean, check the video on Esquire's website. The cover is for Esquire's "How to be a Man" issue, and will be on stands on April 10. 

The underside of the three "covers" have ads on them and because the pages will generate so much attention from readers, this is likely the bet ad placement ever, even if the ads do get ripped. 

We haven't seen too much of this kind of cover innovation yet in Alberta (although some publishers have offered z-fold and gatefold covers) I think this envelope pushing is likely to become the norm.
— K├Ąthe Lemon

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Off-the-page content?

Elle Canada "steps off the pages" with a day of seminars with fashion and beauty experts and runway shows as well as a trade show. The way of the future for magazines as content providers or just another revenue grab? Or both? You decide.

MagCloud: Further clouding of the magazine medium?

Hewlett-Packard is offering a new service called "MagCloud" that essentially offers anyone a vanity press magazine. The per-page cost is higher than regular printing, but also doesn't require high print volumes. Read more about it at the NYTimes site.

What do y'all think of this? DIY magazines?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Conference photos on Flickr. Finally!

I think I've finally "recovered" from the 2009 Alberta Magazines Conference. I know news travels fast, and when it comes to blogging, "instant" is expected. So I must apologize for the delay! There are so many things to take care of post-event, i.e. work on upcoming events, evaluations, clean-up (and it doesn't help that our computer has been acting all wonky)...

So, conference photos have finally been posted to our Flickr (with more to come so keep checking). Thanks to photographer Don Molyneaux for his lens and awesome sense of humour.

In the meantime, Marco Ursi of Masthead has done a stellar job of posting conference news on the Masthead site. Thanks Marco!