Take the survey - concept for Politico magazine
On the relaunch of Magill in October 1997, former editor Fintan O'Toole wrote:
"By giving journalists more space and time than are generally available in the newspapers, Magill could look beyond the news. Sometimes it could set its own agenda by investigating stories that remain untold. Sometimes it can stand back and try to provide a context in which the endless flow of sensations acquires some shape and meaning."
Ireland has been transformed in the intervening years. Since 1997, we have experienced unprecedented economic growth, yet we are now in the most serious economic crisis in the state's history. This was achieved through a combination of political recklessness and cronyism. The banking guarantee of 2008 is possibly the most consequential decision ever taken in the history of the Irish state. It inexorably bound future generations of Irish society to the fortunes of failed and corrupted businesses. It was a massive risk, a gamble of €400 billion that ultimately led to Ireland's bankruptcy and the EU/IMF bailout last year.
While 2010 was possibly the most significant year in the history of the state, the coming years are of greater importance. A new government and president will be elected in 2011; referenda and political reform are increasingly mooted. Fianna Fail and the Green Party face near-obliteration and a new political alignment will govern. The four year plan, budget cuts and taxes will once again be debated as alternative solutions are thrust upon the electorate. Reforms will be guaranteed; a brighter future assured. Much of it will be bluster. But one thing is certain - the decisions taken by the next government will principally shape Ireland's future.
Now, more than ever, there is a need for a publication to "look beyond the news", to "provide a context", to give "shape and meaning". Politico proposes to launch a new magazine edited in the spirit of Magill, but tailored to maximise the potential of the online age.
We want to offer uniqueness in printing new independent writers who are not affiliated with other mainstream outlets. We want to bring hard analysis of current affairs and alternative viewpoints. We want media critique, investigative journalism and gripping features that capture Irish life. We want to read interesting work from the blogosphere. We want to include technologists and data junkies who can abstract and decipher information. We want to use infographics to present this data in creative and meaningful ways. We want to curate. We want humour. We want great photography. We want multimedia to engage readers and viewers. We want the Politico community to shape the agenda. We want interviews and accountability. We want to inform, to debate, and to campaign on key issues. We want solutions. We want change.
We ask that you complete the attached survey, whether or not such a publication interests you. This will give a more complete picture of the support for a magazine and other content.
And support it will need. Politico currently has no staff. Thus far it has relied on the generosity of contributors who write voluntarily and administer the site in their free time. In this regard, we believe we are punching above our weight in delivering content. But we want to do more and do better.
We believe that a subscription-based model for a publication is the only viable way to produce a good publication. This is not intended to be profit-making; but nor is it meant to lose money! Simply, we wish to support good journalism. We propose to organise the publication as a co-operative, where revenues are shared in support of journalists (to certain limits), with surpluses reinvested in creating further content.
We also ask you to indicate your preference for a print or online magazine. Online removes the overheads of print and distribution and will deliver better value for money. Our preference is to meet halfway. All our content will be available as individual articles on Politico. But we also have ambitions to produce a digital print edition that can be read on mobile apps and PCs or laptops. New technology allows us to embed hyperlinks, video and slideshows - and no one in Ireland is doing this yet. Designed well, this will create an appealing reading experience online and on mobile apps. Digital printing has evolved to the point of being able to print out digital editions individually - so this is also an option, though likely at a premium rate.
You decide! We look forward to your feedback.
Survey is now closed.