What’s the Matter?

Check out The Tab’s exclusive interview with Matter magazine, a fledgling news publication advocating Slow Journalism, launched last week.


Check out The Tab’s exclusive interview with Matter magazine, a fledgling news publication advocating Slow Journalism, created and curated by Durham University’s own, launched last week.

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The launch party, held at The Empty Shop in Durham, provided guests with a chilled Sunday evening of music, champagne, canapes, an exhibition of the magazine’s photographs and an insight into the work of the magazine’s global network of contributors.

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In an exclusive interview with The Tab, Annie Fairchild, the producer of Matter magazine, explains the birth of the publication, how you can get involved, and when we can get our hands on the next issue…

What is Matter all about?

Matter Magazine is an image led almanac of academic essays, current affairs and culture, advocating the principles of Slow Journalism, where we look to inform rather than speculate, and so report on the past 3-4 months of events.

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We work with a global group of documentary photographers, journalists and artists to gather content, which we curate and edit to provide our audience with the most factually correct and contemporary content.

1057139_554421221276249_267933639_nThe lead in the Summer Issue, ‘Finding the Identity of Bosnia’, is a story we have worked on for several months, travelling to the destination and collaborating with local photographers and journalists, to provide an insight into the rife and tensions between the three prominent ethnicities inhabiting Bosnia; tensions reportedly worse than even during the Siege of Sarajevo.

Our culture lead is an insight into Leipzig, dubbed the ‘New Berlin’, one of the poorest Eastern German cities (100 km outside Berlin, but very much off the map), with a thriving art scene, attracting not only artists from New York to work here but also large investments from the likes of Charles Saatchi.

In a society where news headlines fly in one ear and out the other, it is difficult to spot vested interests and easy to forget the headlines, which actually matter. Seizing the opportunity to produce a magazine, which can afford to wait till after the dust has settled after political transitions and cultural transformations, Matter will bring something new to Durham.

And it’s a perfect fit for Durham’s bright crop of students: those contributing can indulge their political and cultural interest beyond the somewhat constricting walls of curriculum by developing voice and gravitas in their writing within the framework of Slow Journalism.

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How and when did Matter start?

The idea was born the moment I began my internship at a small independent publication called ‘Oh Comely’ in the summer of 2012. I was introduced to many other beautiful publications, but it was the concept of Slow Journalism which stood out. There was a practice in Slow Journalism magazines to present their work as an antidote to throw away ‘churnalism’. The content was image led and thought provoking. I thought it was very brave to print something like this– especially at a time when most of the major printed newspapers are financially unstable.

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Annie first came up with the idea in the summer of 2012

I realised that it would be interesting to challenge the status quo in Durham, with an intellectually engaging and aesthetically pleasing publication, which reconsidered ‘old headlines’ within the 3 month period to inform the reader with a deeper regard for perspective on the headline. I want Matter to be a publication, which you could put on your shelf after reading feeling as if you have taken something away from it.

The first issue has provided the team with a very steep learning curve, and we look forward to bringing Matter back in an even more exciting different format every time.

How often will the magazine come out?

The launch of the first issue was a huge success

The launch of the first issue was a huge success

The Magazine will be published quarterly, beginning with a volume of 250 copies for the first collectors edition in June 2013, and continuing to expand the circulation volume with growing readership. Next issue will be out in November 2013. We will be doing a launch party for each one!

Can anyone get involved?

Good things come in small packages, and therefore we aim to keep our core team small. Vacancies will be advertised at the beginning of the next academic term, so keep an eye out for those!

Contributions and pitches are welcome from anyone, of course, and to be signed up to our newsletter, please email your name and area of interest to [email protected]

How can people get a copy of the magazine?

The Matter Magazine website is a work in progress, and as soon as it’s complete readers will be able to not only purchase copies but subscribe. At the moment, we are selling copies at four pounds through KICKSTARTER.

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Donate the full amount and leave your address with us on the Matter Magazine facebook page. It seems like a long process, but it actually couldn’t be easier, and we promise you it’s worth it.

Of course if you have a couple of spare pennies kicking around, donations are very welcome – we need to reach our target goal to get going with the SECOND ISSUE!

A list of the main people involved.

The first Issue could not have happened without these wonderful individuals, in alphabetical order:

Donal AS, Lois Bryson-Edmett, Liv Burnet, Alice Carter, Belinda Davies, Jenny Dell, Tom Hutchinson, Ali Reynolds, Joshua Richardson, Liza Kozowyk, Lily Van Den Broecke from Durham.