PDF Magazine Editing: How to Develop and Manage a Successful Publication

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People hang out in certain communities online.

Your audience of publishers hang out somewhere on the Web. The problem is that if you don't know who they are, then you don't know where they hang out. The first step to finding out is profiling them.

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Once you've done that, you'll know what sites they're on. Those sites are your targets for getting published. Some of these publications are very difficult to get in, so it may take months to develop a relationship with an author or editor. There are typically two types of writers at any major publication. The first type is the staff writer. They typically run stories that are newsworthy, of special interest, or related to current events.

These are normally handled with a "cut or keep" meeting style. It is very difficult to get in this cycle. However, the second type of writer freelances and contributes to multiple publications.

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These writers need to produce a set number of stories with the publication each month. If you approach them the right way, you may have a shot of getting published. Clayton says the biggest thing to remember here is that you can't pitch the writer. In fact, if you follow writers in magazines that you want to get published in, it'll be easier to develop a relationship with them.

Social media and networking in person can be very powerful. Meet all of the writers in your area. Go to events or join Facebook groups where writers congregate, and then find out what they look for.


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You'll get an idea of guest posts you can do depending on the stories they run. On their most recent story, email them and thank them for writing the piece and tell them specifically what you learned from it. On their next piece, do the same thing, but add that there are a few other points that you learned.

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Ask great questions. Once you do, you will be able to learn how to develop content based on stories that are exclusive. Peter Shankman talks about how to do this. He advises that you "do your homework so you can ask really great questions. Week 1: Develop a list of 20 writers you want to work with. Week 2: Connect on social media with the writers that responded to your comments.

In this step, it's important that you post content relevant to their industry. This history is a chronicle of missed opportunities, missteps, and lessons learned the hard way.


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The C. The next year, the Post shrugged off a proposal from two of its star political reporters to start a spinoff Web site; they went on to found Politico. The Times , Abramson writes, declined an early chance to invest in Google, and was left to throw the kitchen sink at its failing business model, including adding a Thursday Style section to attract more high-end advertising revenue. More alarming than what the Times and the Post failed to do was how so much of what they did do was determined less by their own editors than by executives at Facebook and BuzzFeed.

Who even are these people?

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She can also be maddeningly condescending. All the way through to the nineteen-eighties, all sorts of journalists, including magazine, radio, and television reporters, got their start working on daily papers, learning the ropes and the rules. Rusbridger started out in as a reporter at the Cambridge Evening News , which covered stories that included a petition about a pedestrian crossing and a root vegetable that looked like Winston Churchill.

In the U. Much the same applied in the U. Beat reporting, however, is not the backstory of the people who, beginning in the nineteen-nineties, built the New Media.


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Jonah Peretti started out soaking up postmodern theory at U. Santa Cruz in the mid-nineteen-nineties, and later published a scholarly journal article about the scrambled, disjointed, and incoherent way of thinking produced by accelerated visual experiences under late capitalism. Or something like that. This type of acceleration encourages weak egos that are easily formed, and fade away just as easily. Media Lab. Peretti was in charge of innovations that included a click-o-meter.

Its business was banditry. Abramson writes that when the Times published a deeply reported exclusive story about WikiLeaks, which took months of investigative work and a great deal of money, the Huffington Post published its own version of the story, using the same headline—and beat out the Times story in Google rankings. Pretty soon, there were jackdaws all over the place, with their schizophrenic late-capitalist accelerated signifiers.

Facebook launched its News Feed in Lists were liked. Hating people was liked. And it turned out that news, which is full of people who hate other people, can be crammed into lists. The Post winnowed out reporters based on their Chartbeat numbers.

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At the offices of Gawker, the Chartbeat dashboard was displayed on a giant screen. These distinctions are lost on most readers. The ambitious news site Mic relied on Facebook to reach an audience through a video program called Mic Dispatch, on Facebook Watch; last fall, after Facebook suggested that it would drop the program, Mic collapsed. Every time Facebook News tweaks its algorithm—tweaks made for commercial, not editorial, reasons—news organizations drown in the undertow. The fake news that roiled the election?

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A lot of that was stuff on Trending Topics. Last year, Facebook discontinued the feature. BuzzFeed surpassed the Times Web site in reader traffic in By , BuzzFeed employed a hundred and fifty journalists, including many foreign correspondents. It still is.

That May, Sulzberger fired Abramson, who had been less than all-in about the Times doing things like running native ads. Meanwhile, BuzzFeed purged from its Web site more than four thousand of its early stories. Not long afterward, the Times began running more lists, from book recommendations to fitness tips to takeaways from Presidential debates. The Times remains unrivalled. It has more than a dozen reporters in China alone.

Nevertheless, BuzzFeed News became more like the Times , and the Times became more like BuzzFeed, because readers, as Chartbeat announced on its endlessly flickering dashboards, wanted lists, and luxury porn, and people to hate. By investing in digital-readership research from the time Rusbridger took charge, in , the Guardian became, for a while, the online market leader in the U.