The New Normal opens for business
New online magazine aims to capture socially conscious entrepreneurial-minded professionals
The New Normal, a business, culture, and lifestyle online magazine, seeks to capture a socially conscious and progressive audience with multimedia-laden stories.
Co-editors-in-chief Sophie Law and Rhuaridh Marr gave a presentation of the magazine to an audience of over 30 people, which included editors from major media outfits such as the BBC and the Scottish Sun, freelance media professionals, and representatives from the National Union of Journalists, nonprofit organisations, and the University of Strathclyde. During the launch, which took place on Friday, February 17, Law explained the name of the magazine.
“Why ‘The New Normal’? We were looking for something snappy, fresh, and innovative, and we used this business jargon which was coined after the 2008 financial crash, which meant an unusual situation that is now the standard,” she said.
The website, which will be updated daily, will comprise news and features, and sections on innovation, current events, culture and life. The publication is managed and run by 22 students of the postgraduate Digital Journalism course at the University of Strathclyde. They hail from 12 different countries: China, Ecuador, France, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Portugal, the United States, and Scotland. Each writer is equipped with different interests and skills, bringing a range of diverse experiences and perspectives to the publication.
BBC Scotland assistant news editor Deirdre Kelly delivered the event’s keynote address, emphasizing the growing importance of digital journalism. Kelly explained how different platforms and technologies continue to influence news reporting, but noted that the fundamental focus should stay on the stories. She also advised the team to actively promote their work. “Once you have arrived at a point where you are happy with your publication, spread it by word of mouth and social media,” she added.
Scottish Sun editor Alan Muir noted that the publication was catering for a specific segment of the market. “There are a lot of interesting human interest stories that can come out of interviewing people like businessmen. These are people who are socially-conscious, and they do not seek publicity, so it’s a good idea,” he said. Similarly, Fiona McKay, a digital journalist at The Herald, was intrigued by the concept presented in the launch video and looked forward to stories by the magazine.
Dr Petya Eckler, who serves as advisor to the publication, said: “We had a very exciting event with a great turnout from media professionals in Glasgow. I’m very excited about the magazine and all the content that the students are working on already. We have heard from many journalists that this is a very exciting concept for a magazine and it is filling an important niche.”
Meanwhile, Dr Sallyanne Duncan, who oversees the university’s journalism programmes, described the magazine as having “all the hallmarks of being a real winner”. “The MLitt Digital Journalism students have created an exciting, innovative concept in the New Normal magazine that not only promises diverse, socially conscious multimedia content but also embraces the entrepreneurial spirit of the University of Strathclyde,” she added.