Editor's Page 00-10-1987
Celebrating the sixth issue of the magazine.
Editor's Page by Christopher Long
This being the sixth issue of World Magazine you can imagine that it seems to us to be something of a landmark. A small landmark compared with so many other much more important events in the world, but a significant half-year achievement nevertheless.
It seems a long, long time ago that we sat down for the first time, surrounded by paper, scissors, glue, transparencies and some of the most illegible contributors' scrawl ever to land on an editorial desk and every time I think of those cold days and long, late-night sessions through February and March, it seems more miraculous that we ever succeeded in producing a first May issue at all.
Since then, somehow, another five issues have emerged and secretly we sit back in stunned amazement wondering how or even why the freshly printed new issue has actually appeared looking more or less the way we intended.
Perhaps you'll allow us a little euphoric candour at this one small milestone in the life of World Magazine.
As if to emphasise the point we had a visiting interviewer in our offices the other day:
"Tell me," he asked, "how would you describe the magazine's editorial policy?"
We looked at each other in some stunned disbelief.
"Policy?" we asked. "Policy? To be quite honest we don't think we've had a moment's time even to think about a policy let alone actually formulate one."
To give the gentleman his due, he seemed vastly relieved and said it was refreshing that we hadn't got one.
In fact, of course, deep down there is a policy. Since the start we knew that here in Britain and all around the world there were intelligent and discriminating people with an insatiable interest in all aspects of the world around them. We knew there was a great need for a magazine devoted to people, places, races, wildlife and the environment. We knew that it should be non-political and non-partisan and we scrawled on the office wall from the beginning the words 'fearless, factual, fair, and fascinating' just to remind ourselves and our contributors that our readers would be unlikely to accept anything less.
Another very important element, we felt, was that we should spare no efforts whatever to achieve the very best possible design, reproduction and print quality available. It seemed strange that the highest standards in magazine design were usually only found in fashion magazines which ended up in the bin at the end of the month. We could see no reason why we should not bring even higher standards of design to subjects such as history, geography, anthropology, science and natural history particularly when this is the sort of magazine that people tend to keep and collect and to re-explore.
For this reason it's our hope and our very firm intention that our contributors, photographers, type-setters and repro/printers will continue to help us to push the frontiers forward to the limits of the skills and technology available.
Of course we haven't always got it right. Inevitably we've had some of those spot-the-deliberate-mistake episodes. We've printed the odd spelling mistake just to see if you were awake! We thought you would be so fascinated by one particular paragraph about the Venice Carnival that we gave it to you twice. And in August we felt that world affairs were getting so dull that we decided to make the King of Sweden the King of Norway instead just to liven things up a bit.
To make up for these little irritations we're now including maps in articles where appropriate (at popular request) and this month we've also included a world map to illustrate some of the almost innumerable people, places, races, wildlife and environments we've encountered in the six monthly issues published so far.
In a few day's time this editorial and the rest of issue No. 6 will roll off the press and we'll be opening a bottle to celebrate the small milestone in our existence. We shall be raising a toast to our contributors and to all those who help to produce and print the magazine, while toasting in particular all our readers. Without them there would be no need for the paper, scissors, glue, transparencies and all that illegible contributors' scrawl.
© (1987) Christopher Long. Copyright, Syndication & All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
The text and graphical content of this and linked documents are the copyright of their author and or creator and site designer, Christopher Long, unless otherwise stated. No publication, reproduction or exploitation of this material may be made in any form prior to clear written agreement of terms with the author or his agents.