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Podcast: Former Magfest organiser Nikki Simpson on plans for The International Magazine Centre

On this week’s episode of Media Voices, former PPA Scotland business manager Nikki Simpson introduces plans to launch The International Magazine Centre, a hub for publishers to promote magazine innovation and celebrate the industry’s past.

In the news round-up, the team decide whether Buzzfeed’s print edition is more than a marketing stunt, how serious Zuckerberg’s ‘pivot to privacy’ is, and how Readly has come to claim the ‘Spotify of magazines’ title. Esther and Chris are outraged at a crass new launch from Bauer.

In our own words:

Talking to Nikki Simpson for this week’s episode was a wonderful reminder of the passion that underlies so many great magazine projects.

Speaking about how she first ‘got’ magazines she highlights the people that introduced her to great design and storytelling. She talks about getting the job that ultimately led to her curating the annual Magfest conference, a position she describes as “Inviting all my magazine heroes to come and speak to all my magazine friends.”

I’ve known Nikki for years, initially through the Scottish PPA. We properly bonded when she nagged me incessantly through the commissioning, editing and publishing process for the Magazine Diaries back in 2014. Speaking to her about her latest project – The International Magazine Centre – I recognise the same unrelenting focus. Nikki’s decided this is important and she’s going to make it happen.

Plans for The International Magazine Centre are in the early stages, centering on a website launch and efforts to raise awareness. Long-term, the aim is to create a hub for magazine lovers, for magazine publishers and for people who work in supporting industries and academia.

It’s also about creating a focus for international cooperation and shared learning, leveraging all that’s good about the Internet to combat the ‘death-of-print shite’ as Nikki describes it.

If enthusiasm was all that was needed, Nikki would have the International Magazine Centre up and running next week. But it will take more than that and Nikki speaks a lot about how people can get involved, from contributing to a Patreon to offering to share their expertise online to becoming international ambassadors.

I’m a big supporter of this project. I think the magazine business worldwide could do with a positive focus to help it grow into its future and to make sure that the important lessons of the past are not forgotten. And I’m not sure I can think of anyone more likely to make it happen than my favourite nag Nikki Simpson.

By Peter Houston

Republished with kind permission of Media Voices, a weekly look at all the news and views from across the media world


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