MA Studies > Editorial design > Editorial design alumnus > Oscar David Quijano Robayo

Oscar David Quijano Robayo

Alumnus
EDITORIAL STRATEGIES TO COMMUNICATE COMPLEX MATTERS TO WIDER AUDIENCES



In a gray economic picture for the magazines, which predict and confirm increasing budget deficits even in highly popular publications, how to achieve that cultural contents that seem not to be of general interest because of its complexity, gain wider audience? What editorial strategies can be taken into account? What relationship must new media have with these editorial concepts? How to avoid the expiration of cultural publications?.
 
The current economic situation forces companies and entities to reassess their production systems. The niche of publications, for example, has been facing significant declines in sales and advertising budget injection. In the U.S. case single selling copies fell from 47,1 to 44,1 millions in the first quarter of 2008[1], for the second quarter, there were falls of 8,2% in the number of advertising pages, while in the same period of 2009 the figure plummeted to 9,4%[2]. A magazine, like any other company, should respond positively about their earnings to a changing and economically instable scene. That is why lately we have been able to see particular decisions on the general and editorial direction that seek to cut costs while trying to expand their sales and number of readers by the generation of new strategies
 
While the above figures are clear for the magazine industry in general, there seems not to be detailed studies for each of the areas within it, however it is not unreasonable to think that publications dealing with providing cultural content (music , film, literature, philosophy, politics, arts ...) do not have more readers than People, Cosmopolitan and magazines of popular interest. This horizon, makes even more intricate the survival of these publications, because if they previously had few readers, now with the economic crisis and widespread migration of advertising to the web, the opportunity to attract new people to its ranks of subscribers-readers and continue generating profitability is increasingly remote. Or not?
 
The lack of interest from the bulk of the population of readers, in my opinion, its not due to a collective ignorance, nonetheless, (plus other reasons) many publishing models intended for intellectuals and enthusiasts seem to be highly elitist, jealous and obtuse about their aim to widely communicate a particular topic. Sometimes, there is some direction on many publications concerned to only satisfy their unique and counted readers assertively, instead of generating good journals/magazines where information reaches a wider audience.
This editorial elitism has become a thorn in the flesh not only for publishers to make more lucrative, wide and fruitful business, but also for society, now that forces it to ignore its contents becouse it appears to be impenetrable and cold.
Although there are good examples of "democratization" of complex cultural content, it is important to eliminate as far as possible this parvenu position.
 
Achieve to find editorial models and strategies to first strengthen the "cultural"  magazine industry and second to carry complex content to a wider audience, should not compromise the quality of its content, as the successful meeting of new ideas to show information is precisely the work to be done by an editor and a designer: (Editor: 1. a person Who is in charge of and Determines the final content of a newspaper, magazine, or multi-author book., Graphic desginer: 1. The practice or profession of Designing print or electronic forms of visual information, as for an advertisement, publication, or website[3]) accurately communicate visual and literary content.
 
The latest trends in magazines opening to digital media have generated a revolution in media publishing. Because of this, the revaluation of the definitions of content and audience interaction have took place with great attention in current discussions of the topic. Examples such as Wired magazine and The New Yorker (among others) have shown that it is possible to fit the model of a print magazine to digital without sacrificing content, but on the contrary, enriching it with applications, functions and new elements that make the reading process more than reading ... an experience. This has not only brought the interest of many cybernauts, but it allows to create a less expensive editorial product, with a circulation significantly greater and more attractive to new audiences.
While these new models are plausible, it is important to remember that the ipad is a device difficult to acquire because of its high cost. Given condition rises to new questions about whether this is the first step to a new stage in magazines or just a different experience than the print product is offering. In turn, it is important to analyze what will be the future relationship between a same product with print or digital-interactive form, because instead of competing between them as better or worse, they can be designed so that they both mate as the same "gear", that merges, plays and will not only be consulted by the user's immediate need but by the satisfaction of finding a wide range of experiences and information on a topic.
 
The analysis of wise and successful examples will be a constant in my research so as the study of the difference between different media, their advantages and disadvantages and how people approach them. On the other hand, studying the processes of communication and reception of information on people and the current editorial strategies will allow me to see what the relationship between the magazine and its readers is like, and how that relationship can be modified in favor of communicating complex cultural issues with quality to more people .
 
In conclusion, I think the past months have been of great benefit to take focus and consolidate the approach and question that I will cover during my research. I consider relevant and current the issues that I hope to cover, because in times when the “democratization”of information is evident due to Internet and globalization is subsequent to analyse what new spaces, opportunities and options are born, so we will not expect the situation shape our choices such as designers and publishers, but on the contrary we will orchestrate the birth of editorial strategies that run in parallel with the technological vanguard, that are socially sensitive and contribute to strengthening the business model for publishers.
Therefore, what are the appropriate editorial strategies for communicating complex issues to a wider public? ... We'll see.


[1]Audit Bureau of Circulations
[2]Publishers Information Bureau
[3]Oxford Dictionary definition for editor and Graphics designer
 

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