If work was easy, then they’d call it something else. My job is probably no harder than yours, but that doesn’t stop me from whining about the hours and the stress of deadlines. Even so, some months I have to admit that what I call work is what many would love to do on their vacations.
Take the month of August, for example. In my official capacity as editor of this fine publication, I attended an artsy Medal Day at the MacDowell Colony, rode the Cog Railroad to the top of Mt. Washington, got a great seat at the Portsmouth Music Hall to hear the eclectic virtuosity of the finale night at the Parma Music Festival, tasted about 60 different spicy concoctions as a judge at the Rotary Chili Festival at Pats Peak, then spent a breezy day at the Exeter UFO Festival listening to folks talk about lights in the sky and alien abductions.
It’s a tough job, as they say, but someone’s gotta do it.
My staff and I did have to produce a magazine, too, while I was gadding about the state. And while the magazine business can be fun, like just about everything else in the media world it’s undergoing a world of change right now.
On a national level magazines are hurting, bleeding ad revenue and losing readers to an ever-more web-centric publishing environment. The Internet is a great way to get stories and facts out to people but offers little financial incentive to the creators and publishers of that information. That hasn’t stopped many glossy print publications like Wired, Esquire and The Atlantic from producing some of their most compelling journalism and pushing the envelope on design and storytelling concepts.
City and regional magazines like ours fall into a slightly different portion of the print spectrum and tend to be weathering the changes well. In an age that is so global, the local has become more precious, and that’s what we’re all about — keeping people informed about the wonders that surround them, sometimes hidden in plain sight.
This month, October, looks like another one of those working vacations for me. With foliage season in full swing we’ll be collecting travel stories for next year and taking in such events as the Warner Foliage Festival, Berlin’s wonderful RiverFire event and (dare I admit I’ve never been) Keene’s Pumpkin Festival. And in my official capacity as Granite State editor and gadabout, I’ve been invited to speak at the conference of the International Regional Magazine Association in Portsmouth. They want me to tell some of my fellow magaziners from all over the world about what there is to do on the NH seacoast.
I’ll have more than a few things to recommend, and I’ll also hand out some copies of our brand new Seacoast publication, The Square. It will be hot off the press just as the conference begins. If you don’t have your own copy, visit thesquarenh.com and check out what we’ve been hardly working on for the past few months.