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at school. You handed in your homework — almost
always late —~ and your teacher told you how awful it was. You knew where you stood: you delivered. and the teacher judged. However much you felt cast adrift in a sea of adolescent angst. someone else would be watching over you. trying to help you do something half-decent with your life. And that was underlined at every parents‘ evening: must try harder.
In many ways. editing a magazine is similar. ()K. there‘s no teacher. no-one who mum- you to succeed for your own sake. But for every issue published there‘s soon enough a sales figure. like a mark at the end of an essay. There it is. staring you in the lace. the brtrtal comparison of year-on-ycar sales. A dreaded minus or a joyftrl pltts. ()n this score. things are looking pretty healthy. Since ('hristmas. we‘ve enjoyed a clear run of positive results. Shirley Henderson. Scarlett Johansson. Franz Ferdinand. . Benicio Del Tom and Jimmy (‘arr all scored great a - newsstand successes. So far. so good.
But editing a magazine is tnore complicated than school. Publishing over 90.000 words a fortnight (more words than the average PhD thesis) means that to do the job requires things that don‘t really matter in secondary school. Like teamwork.
Certainly. alter six months in the post. I think I can work with the team to achieve much more. Alongside attracting more readers. otrr job is also to produce a publication which enhances 'l‘lrr' Lisl‘s reputation and
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www.nifeis|ife_com/ helps the sales team bring in new revenues. And I have I I n Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Cameo Sharon Claire /'«."f s.‘ P"? It was uplift "t; l'ketl Katt. l e ‘ t' t. t" ‘ .'.v'r.: i" ,It "5; turn a'. weft, surreal. i :tl‘t: ) k
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6 THE LIST iii 7/ May 1931).:
t‘s easy to be romantic. but for me. life was simpler
End 0 erm report
After six months in the job, editor Nick Barley evaluates his progress so far
to provide a platform for future growth. Since my arrival. the team has been working to develop and improve the magazine: we have already introduced a number of new ideas and aim to roll otrt major changes before the end of summer. We will shortly be publishing a questionnaire to get your views on what you would like to see more (and less) of in The List. Please take a moment to fill it in: we won‘t know about the details of what you like unless you tell us.
Meanwhile. there are new initiatives — not necessarily my idea. bttt whose gestation l have strongly supported. We‘re producing a new and ambitious publication on 22 July. entitled ‘I‘IIU Us! Edinburgh Festival Guide. A glossy l4—l-page magazine. it will provide the definitive preview of all the festivals. including the lidinburgh Art Festival. which launches this year. We are continuing our partnership with ()range. following tip last year‘s 50 Best Scottish liilms project with one that sets out to find the 50 Best Scottisli Bands of all time. And there‘s the quarterly arts magazine that will be out very soon.
So much for the future: how would I sum up the past six months'.’ Jttdging by the bulging post bag. reader reactions are getting more passionate. and more extreme: for most of the things we do. these days we‘re getting high praise. btrt there are times when we also get violent condemnations. l take both as a sign that we‘re doing something right. But regardless of the letters. and successes on the newsstand. the pressures of magazine publishing conspire to make an editor feel one thing above all. Must try harder.
. Edinburgh. Wed 5 May
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