Guest Column: Still in Search of the Magic Bullet?
As a young African-American female who is an independent publisher, people often ask me where I found the guts to start a national magazine. Who in their right mind would take on such a task—a print magazine, no less—in this day and time? I always answer with a big smile and tell them that I have had a long-running love affair with magazines.
As far back as I can remember, I have loved magazines. At the age of 10, I traveled regularly with my mother on business trips, and always boarded the airplane with an armful of them. To this day, my mother still teases me about the time our flight landed before I got halfway through my favorite magazine. I pouted all the way to the hotel.
Fast-forward several decades to my days as a marketing executive in a global chemical company: The job required extensive travel, but I always looked forward to flying because I knew I would be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the latest issues of my favorite magazines.
I am intrigued by the beautiful glossy covers; the vibrant colors and images that tell a story; the bold and exciting headlines that make me anxious to read what is inside; even flipping through the pages to see the brands, products and offerings in the advertisements. But most important is the editorial content. Engaging in journalistic writing that inspires, enlightens, educates and entertains will never stop being a thrill.
I still have this love affair today—it's a major part of what drew me into the industry. Sadly, the love affair is dwindling, as is the industry itself. But our industry's decline should not be blamed on the economy, the environment or the Internet, but rather on how some magazines have forgotten what is important. They have allowed obstacles to become excuses.