Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Guest Speaker - Kirsty Newton

Editor of “Cornwall Today” Kirsty Newton spoke to Journalism students yesterday regarding her experiences of the magazine industry.

Gaining a Post Graduate diploma in Journalism in Preston, Kirsty worked around regions, such as Devon and Cornwall, working through the media. She worked from home usually, saying “The money was great but could get a little lonely”.

That said, she says: “Don’t turn your nose up at regional journalism would be my main advice.”

Kirsty has been the editor of the Cornish lifestyle magazine for only a year, but already she has added many new features and topics. This was part of her arrival remit, and has increased the page count by 40, to 216 pages an issue. This, she says, “allows for a broader range of advertising” which in turn increases the income of the publication.

The majority of articles are written by freelance journalists, who usually work from around 10p a word, equating to £100 for a 1000 word article. She also says that the “very good photography and really good designers” key to the magazine, and its appeal.

However, she says that it is “sad but true” that the main drive behind the magazine is to make money for parent company Northcliffe. At the moment, 16000 copies are printed each month, but the sales figures are steadily rising each time a new issue is printed.

As a monthly magazine, Kirsty says that news issues that relate to Cornwall are difficult to write about, as quite often the stories could be old by the time the issue is printed. This is why the topics are very lifestyle based: food, motoring, art and so on. Because of this, the readership is mainly ABC1, and, unusually for lifestyle magazines, fairly evenly split between male and female.

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