The weekly cycle of a news magazine

IN a world running at digital pace, many newspapers have long been forced into the traditional news magazine model, with larger form writing and more big picture thinking.

But we still have to do it everyday, after all there is only so much wisdom one can summon in a few hours.

We are aware that readers know what the news is.

It would be sham to pretend that we can guide them through the chaos of this information age.

Nothing beats the Internet in doing a good job of playing the role that has been long-filled by newspapers: delivering headlines, opinions and instant analysis.

Every newsman thinks what we do is truly important — that every issue represents our efforts to bring original reporting, provocative (but not partisan) arguments and  unique voices to our readers, even only on a weekly basis.

In the final analysis, what matters in the newsworld, whether our readers think so, and in so thinking is…whether you find that our work repays the investment of your time

Asian Journal Publications, Inc. aims to bring to our readers intellectually-satisfying, as well as visually-rich experiences, as the great newspapers of old did — giving the benefit of careful work.

For the most part, there is variety. The reported narrative (pieces grounded in original observation and freshly discovered fact) which illuminates the important and the interesting.

There are also editorial pieces grounded in reason and supported by evidence.

Perhaps displaced by these two categories, one would think that straightforward news would be the chief casualty even if written with a few new details. It does not move us significantly past what we already know.

Will we cover breaking news? What rigorous standards do we have in mind?

Are we truly adding to the conversation?

The violence that erupted in Egypt, are we saying something original about it?

Are our photographs and design values exceptional?

The question is the answer because if the answer is yes, we are in business.

The cycle of news reporting — we’ve always hoped for a model of the form, a continuing rethinking of the best structure of the magazine; features in the form of a visual dissection or explanation of an important issue; or that happening or event that will satisfy one’s curiosity, if not pique interest including our cultural taste, global stability, views about the state of the world. Global commerce assessment also counts.

The issue of news reporting brings to mind how comic tradition in the early 19th century evoked American journalism through Mark Twain.

He was Clemens (Mark Twain), the unsanctified newspaper reporter, who decided to bend or disrespect the usual rules of journalism. He was full of mischief; unsuspecting readers made their way through his long columns of serious legislature resolution or mining claims. They would suddenly come upon appearances of drunken dialect or whoppers which were so ridiculous.

He left Virginia City, fleeing possible arrest for violation of anti-dueling statutes.

He challenged a rival editor, and was accused of “unmanly public journalism,” which he considered to be fighting words.

He used a literary alter ego, whose articles assumed the straight-faced appearance of being traditional.

As a newspaper journalist, he somehow detailed unlikely frontier curiosities: petrified men or bloody massacres committed by settlers holding worthless stocks, stories that would be in his later tales.

He began submitting comic tellers, signed as “Josh” to the Territorial Enterprise, on Feb. 3, 1863.

Yet, while he duly reported those events, he began placing items ranging from dodgy to the irresponsible.

By early 1863, he started signing  his stories with his now-renowned pseudonym — a navigation term from his days as a riverboat pilot before the Civil War.

Thus, he marked his appearance in the Territorial Enterprise, taking on a  new dimension as a diverting interactive exercise.

Mark Twain’s “essential theatricality,” was just one way of describing him.

The Constitution, which presidents swear to “preserve, protect and defend,” includes only one profession under its guarantee of protections:  a free press.

Yet it does so, not to protect journalists, but in defense of The People and their right to know.

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E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@aol.com

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