First Magazine - Australian Innovation

Posted by JSYL on Thursday, April 02, 2009 in , ,

For the past month I've been working on Australian Innovation, the official publication of the Australian Innovation Festival. The first copies arrived yesterday, and I have to say I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

I sub-edited a number of the articles and advertorials that appeared in the book, and even contributed a few stories of my own, namely:

Curiosity Killed the Copycat
- p.63

Picking Winners - p.107

Sharks in Shock
- p.116

Secret Inventors' Business - p.117

More on this a little later.

You can check out an online version of the magazine here.


I always thought working in a magazine would mean living the glamorous life - wearing expensive clothes, swishing away super shiny locks and carrying away bags of freebies from expensively catered events...though much of this was probably drilled into me by one too many hours spent re-watching 'The Devil Wears Prada'. (Don't judge me, you've all done it too, I know, and coveted those Chanel boots at one stage or another. Bite me.)

But after getting Jane Bruton her breakfast every day (a fruit cup and a bottle of water from that particular store in Covent Garden) and watching the Features Editor of an Australian magazine that shall remain nameless paint her fingernails with dark purple nailpolish at her desk, the once sparkling snapshot of magazine life in my head became a little dull and tattered around the edges.

The B2B publishing house where I work presented an equally huge culture shock to my system. I can count the number of women in the office on one hand on most days (part-time interns excluded, for now). And yes, the gender-shift really does change the culture of a newsroom. Compared to the wire service routine to which I was by now accustomed, the pace seemed to slow right down. Until, that is, production week before deadline arrived out of nowhere, and everyone simultaneously shifted gears to accommodate the adrenaline rush.

Call me a self-absorbed brat (though maybe not to my face too early in the morning) but I will never tire of seeing my words and name in print. The day the first copies of the book came in, I could hardly contain myself, and in the words of my colleague, 'jumped around'.

Sure, we may have all made daily sarcastic jokes about how, being a B2B book, rather than a consumer publication, with a large number of politically spun commissioned articles, our readership would not be mind-blowing and our best efforts would not be acknowledged by many. I can tell you with all honesty I've had my own doubts about the 'value' of my contribution to that elusive and self-effacing profession of 'journalism' in the production of this magazine.

Nevertheless, in came the prints, in their awkwardly fragile brown cardboard boxes. And there we each sat on our respective wheely-chairs, music blaring on the radio in the background - for once, the only audible sound in the room. Flicking through each page painstakingly for errors, squinting at the cover, holding up the spine to the light to examine the glue that connected pages we had gone over for days on end. Jokes aside, we take a lot of pride in what we do. And the same can be said for the best journalists in the business.

That's good enough for me.



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