Even in the new media age, “magazines” still mean print on paper. I love magazines, and subscribe to more than is probably healthy. So here as part of my list-a-day Advent Project, are the magazines which I enjoyed the most this year.
1. The Word
Hits the spot every time. These guys know their demographic and target it with ruthless efficiency. And I’m slap bang in the middle of the demographic. The magazine has agonised this year about how a print magazine should be presented in 2010, and decided to go for longer articles and original illustrations on the cover, very much inna New Yorker-stylee. Lots of explanations why at the time, but very few as it subsequently quietly slipped back to being exactly what it had been before the makeover. Well, they tried. Honestly, for this reader they didn’t really need to. From Bruce Springsteen to Half Man Half Biscuit, whatever I want to read about seems to be there.
It can’t be easy to take a juggernaut like Which? and improve it, but I think the editorial team have indeed made a better product this year. With so much “review” material available online nowadays, you might well ask if good old Which? has a place in 2010. If it can only hang on, however, the public will increasingly appreciate the impartiality and thoroughness of its reviews, as the public also begins to realise how much of the review-style material they read online is only thinly-disguised sales material.
3. Private Eye
Although it had Gordon Brown to aim at instead of Blair, Private Eye needed a change of government, and got it. A few awful covers have slipped through quality control, but generally it’s been a good year for the country’s most essential publication. The goings-on in local government which the Eye exposed continue to astonish, but we’ll probably be saying the same in 50 years’ time. Plenty of good reader contributions too, including Pseudo Names.