Friday, 2 January 2009

Post Media Magazine - The Right Kind of Ambition

Happy New Year everyone! Seeing as this is 2009's first post, I though I would start with a message of hope (well, that's what it is to me, anyway), so read on.

For me, being part journalist, part translator and (recently) part writer, translates into keeping my eyes open when I troll around, especially near magazine stands and keeping my mind open to new possibilities, opportunities and above all, ideas. Hence, during one such foray downtown, I was killing time while waiting for a friend, browsing through magazine after magazine: war journals, historical magazines, science mags, popularized or not, culture magazines and cinema stuff are always the ones that draw my eyes. However, this time my eyes fell on the exceptional cover of PhotoNet, a magazine (as you can probably imagine), involving cameras, shooting techniques, new technologies and all sorts of updates from the field, so I went ahead and bought it.

When I came out the store, I shot a customary glance again, before leaving and that is when I saw it, sitting there patiently for me to notice: Post Media #01, of a simple and elegant design, the only intentional cacophony being a pink graphic, proclaiming: "100% AD-FREE. This publication does not include even a single advertisement!" Then I read the fine print on the cover (well, fine in comparison to the magazine's title), where the expletive was placed: "Bi-Monthly Publication for Independent Journalism / Issue 1 / November-December 2008 / Price 9 Euros". I felt a heartstring being tugged somewhere inside: "INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM"!!! Someone was spying on my most secret thoughts and hopes and I as it turned out, I was grateful for it. Before you move on, I must warn our non-Greek readers that all of the following concerns a Greek publication.

Post-Media is just as its cover proclaims, an independent publication, free of any sort of advertisement, containing 100% reader material, presented in a clean, easy-to-read way, along with all sorts of original illustrations, photo-montages and such. I do not know if they plan on following a theme in each issue but in this case, they did, taking their proclamation a step further by analyzing the history of advertisement, its evolution and current domination over almost any and all media. Various angles are discussed by different journalists, bloggers and even academics, in relation to capitalism, its "green" or "ecological" counterpart, over-consumerism and even misogyny.

As for the main feature of this issue, it covers the so-called "Free-Press" Magazines (and to an extent, the very internet that most of us are using), who are in fact slaves to the advertising vices of their sponsors (and in that sense, not much "free" at all). The article is written by a friend I met through COMICDOM, Leda Tsene and I would argue that it's strong point is in its not being mere polemic or criticism, but a presentation of information with available sources and quotes, that not only tries to extract a conclusion, but also provoke the readers to examine the situation for themselves.

I would not go as far a saying that Post Media is light reading, since that depends largely on the author of the article (and the subject matter has quite a bit of politics and economics) and of course, the reader, but I must commend all the contributors on using good, concise language and writing as clearly and straightforward as possible. I believe the most accurate term would be "eloquent journalism".

A final, important word before closing off: Post Media's ambition is to be a "reader-funded" magazine, so to speak. That is, under no circumstances will the publication rely on "outside funds", such as advertisements and the price will fluctuate according to the readership. Hence, the more successful the magazine, the more its price will be lowered. It's the right kind of ambition and a fair deal, if you ask me - I wish them the best (and THIS is their blog).

Oh, and do get a copy on your way out...


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