Allison P. Erickson
This magazine emerged from the collaborative efforts of the students in the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism (CPCJ) masters program at the New School for Social Research. Back Matter reflects what we learned as we attempted to transform thought into a printed (and digital!) product. This includes the amount of labor and teamwork that is necessary for a publication to exist at all.
“Publishing Capital”– this issue’s theme– refers to the questions that struck us most forcefully as we took the pulse of the publishing world: How do publications, large and small, survive and thrive in a highly competitive environment? What is the feel of this landscape in 2019? To help us figure it out we asked writers, editors, and industry insiders to sweep out their secrets, tips, and tricks into our pages. Their hopes, anxieties, and frustrations became this publication’s chance for reflection.
As relative newcomers to the publishing industry, the learning curve was steep. I am not new to project management, but publishing timely, thoughtful information requires an open and responsive feedback loop with multiple parties internal and external to an organization. It required open communication, adaptability, and dedication. Oh, and deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. This beautiful print and digital magazine provides a solid foundation for what we and our program can accomplish. And this is just iteration one.
In the CPCJ MA program’s short history, this magazine has never gone out on time. The product in your hands is the work of 18 individuals who overcame a double inclination towards procrastination — we’re both students and writers, after all — to produce a real-time snapshot of the media industry in 2019. None of us have ever launched a magazine before and yet, what you hold in your hands arrived at the printer one day early.
We chose the theme Publishing Capital after we noticed that conversations about media in 2019 often make their way back to money. Ahead, you’ll find analyses of the increasingly complex ways media companies are funded. From cryptocurrency to amiable billionaires, there are many ways for words to reach the page. We also pulled inspiration from magazine features you may recognize, and turned to our New York City surroundings for photographs that depict how the printed word shows up in our daily lives. Showing you the inside of editors’ minds as well as their inboxes, we hope this magazine will serve as a guide and a salve for industry insiders and wannabes alike.
I look forward to revisiting this inaugural issue, and our analyses, in five, ten, and twenty years — when, I suspect, print will still be “dying,” and NYC magazine shops will still be our favorite way to spend an afternoon.