New York magazine
This week on the stack we speak to the new editor of new york magazine david housego. It tells me all about their exciting new kover plus. We speak to our women in l._a. Lada habil on the latest problems facing the los angeles times and finally our hong kong bureau chief. James chambas explains links how the main hong kong dailies are covering the protests. Stay tuned for this week's edition of the stack from derry housing london. This is the stack thirty minutes of print industry analysis. I am finland. It was to prochet cool coming up on the show. We'll look at the problems that l. a. daily the los angeles times is is facing with its circulation numbers plus. We review the printed press in hong kong but before that i spoke to the editor of one of my favourite titles new york mark magazine since early april they have a new editor in chief. David hostile in the latest issue ivanka trump is on the kover a major story where the magazine teen spoke to about sixty friends or colleagues of ivanka well david tells me all about it and his plans for the clinic title and working as an editor of the magazine for about twelve years and so have had a role in its evolution through most of my predecessors assessors time here at a moss was the editor in chief of the magazine for fifteen years and i was editing in the culture pages of the magazine and then a features editor deputy editor. The last few years was working with with adam and the c._e._o. Of the company think about new editorial projects basically which ranged from podcast in film and television to launching the strategist new digital vertical etc etc so i sort of had a lot of experience with different parts of the editorial operation operation which isn't to say it was truly prepared prepared for the job of being the chief because that's a really entirely different thing in a way and it's been <hes> incredibly thrilling. I guess over the last four months or so to be you know getting my groundings a little bit and understanding how to have best around this place well and one thing for sure thinks he became the editors as well. You continue. I mean each kover over story of new york topics for manu opinion pieces. You know that that goes around the world. Let's talk about the latest issue a with ivanka trump. I love the kover over by the way there's a kind of a tabloid headline ivanka to city drop the cheek has tell us about this massive story because apparently you guys spoke to about sixty over friends and colleagues right yeah yeah sure so one thing about the covers that it's a it's a reference to a famous amos cover the daily news that said ford to city drop dead right at the at the brink of the city's possible bankruptcy in seventies and and president ford dan in washington was not willing to bail us out so we were spending a lot of time thinking about how to put our avant good story on the cover and what was the message we wanted to communicate and it was really after hours and hours of thinking through different ideas when one of our editors nery malone came up with that referenced <unk> cover clicked but you know figuring out what the cover is really the last stage of an editorial process in this one was more extensive than most because we were working the writer of the story <unk> gratis on a podcast together so we as a magazine decided to launch a podcast series series called tabloid in which season we would go deep in an employ all the techniques long form storytelling on one particular tablet story so our first season we decided that ivanka trump and especially her childhood in who has <unk> developed from really this kind of crucible of tabloid glare with their parents divorce navies that would be really interesting subject for the magazine to consider for vanessa particularly consider vanessa's generation of evacuate also grew up in the city and had been paying attention her for decades so we commission didn't vanessa to do both a long form podcast annalong piece of written journalism and both of them launched out into the world this this week. It was really exciting for the first time that we'd we'd sort of done that kind of podcasting and it really raised our ambitions. Thanks for the reporting process piece. That's amazing <unk> from podcast too so there will be other other episodes of of the special yeah so so it's on a platform called luminary and this is an eight episode season with two bonus episodes so i eight or ten hour. Were you want to call it and then hopefully in you know another season will launch another batch about an entirely different subject david. Do you consider well. I have a few my say as but do you consider new york very much a political magazine as well not only just entertainment or c._t. Not magazine oh yeah politics always been one of our guiding curiosities in new york magazine is just over fifty years old and when it launched in nineteen sixty eight it was always at both about the city and really was the first city magazine and beyond the city eddie and it took a a new yorkers point of view about the world so from the very beginning we were sending writers like nora ephron down to washington to write about the nixon nixon administration. You know we've always had very strong background in reporting and commentary on politics on hollywood on on business in more recently silicon valley and that's you know it's really very important to me is the editor in chief to have balanced that feels right to me of authority over the covered new york city itself and a mandate to be writing and editing national magazine david. I have a question about your readership. I mean clearly. I presume your biggest. Market must be new york but what about around the u._s. Do you have a lot of people reading new york in on the west coast or denault in dallas yeah yeah absolutely i mean when when we talk about the magazine we are both print and digital magazine and and the vast majority of our readership is digital we have about fifty million people who read us every month and they come to us either through the front page age of enzymatic dot com or some of them come to us from one of the verticals that that make up <unk> new york is at as a general interest magazine the way we've we've we represent ourselves digitally is that we have these verticals the cut vulture grub street intelligence or the strategist that each look at eh a slice of of what are general interests are and all of the print magazine content is published on those verticals and it's you know certain in reader who's just a complete pop. Culture enthusiasts is spending most of her time on vulture. Let's say but it's also reading the political coverage that we are are publishing in the magazine in on intelligence or and in the cut and etc etc so all that is the preamble of those roughly fifty million readers. I i forget the exact number but something like ten or fifteen percent are in new york. It's really a national magazine and and it's you know to some extent in international magazine but we have more readers in california corner than we do in new york city taxi. I was just going to say there's also you know people like me. I leaving london which fund enough doesn't i don't see a magazine hearing during loan than you know talking about the city the way new york does it so you know. Perhaps that's one of the reasons why i decided to subscribe the magazine yeah. I really hope there's a reader who lives in in london earlier win or austin or chicago or los angeles etc etc etc etc who finds a commonality who really feels more in tune with those fellow readers. Maybe they do with someone who lives in our away away from them. It's a really it's a cosmopolitan point of view that i think we have and you know there's so much about new york. City that represents itself globally like the coverage coverage of brooklyn for instance artistic culture and what brooklyn represents there is a version of brooklyn in every city around the world and it just as a ah example of how were able to write about things that feel very local but that are actually globally resonant and then we're able to tackle you know the commission to boris johnson profile yesterday so we're able to contest jump round the world whenever we want so. It's it's really fortunate position that i think we're in and david my love but you know there's two of my favorite things of the magazine first of all the crossword i think is amazing. I live a how they're more mordon gordon references. I'm not gonna lie quite hard for me. I can't do crossword puzzles and look book as well yet but look book is really as a special place in my heart. It was one of the many inventions that came with the modern new york magazine the adama's in his staff in two thousand unfortunately five introduced to the world's and the concept then this is freely predating street photography street fashion but we were just noticing noticing people in new york walking down the street and ask them about their look that was sort of the concept of luck in one thing that i've been doing since april is expanding it over three repackages instead of one and always very being very intentional that we're we're setting up our photo shoot so that we can use the project that is a kind of anthropological study of the city so you know in a kind of obscure most recent example we send a look book which is to say we percents <unk> for in the reporter to the port authority which is the main bus station in new york city and specifically to door door with thirty two which is where the bus goes to a very specific area of upstate new york where a very kind of particular kind of new yorker has a weekend house or has a friend who has a weekend house and so the the <hes> photography that we did that day really added up to a portrait of a particular subset of new york and then you know we're doing very different shoot right now in <unk> spoil it but we're really taking the opportunity to see the city of new york in many different microcosm is as possible and finally to about that ivanka story. Do you expect any sort of reaction from her or hurting about the story. Which is you know. It's quite big yeah. You know i don't really i'm sure she's noticed it because i think they're actually she's. She's pretty press savvy and you talk to anybody who's in the business of writing or publishing about vodka and even though she won't talk on the record it's clear that sources that she was she was a useful source to pieces so she's. She's you know media savvy. We decided we didn't wanna play that game so even though she offered to be off the record sources. We didn't take that up. She's probably a bit unnerved because of the number of people we spoke folk to across your entire life to really try to build out a rich profile her am sure she's unhappy with the with the point of view of the piece which is pretty hard on her but that's fine. I don't really i don't i'm not really interested in her reaction. If there were anything wrong we're gonna correct it but there's been no response the white house to that effect that was david housego their editor in chief of new york magazine stain the u._s. Speak with our l._a. Bureau chief colada habile lou. This week discovered that l._a. Daily the los angeles times struggling to gain new subscribers to paper while kalat explains me a bit more about that and also gives me her overview of the state of new stance in the u._s. We heard directly from the newspapers executive editor a non pure stein that the newspaper is not performing exactly the way that they had hoped they wanted to double digital subscriptions up to three hundred thousand and he revealed at that first half of the year had been rather disappointing that while they added fifty thousand thousand digital subscriptions they had a significant number of cancellations during that same time which meant that increase was only about thirteen thousand so very much in far off the <hes> wanted goal which in some ways is quite a shame you see the success of the washington post the new york times in the east coast. I mean the west coast really needed a strong paper yeah it did and i think like there was so much there was so much hope and here in los angeles times new strategy exactly because of dot like how it would redefine the west coast as a media how were so many of the heavyweights just mentioned the boston globe the washington post wall street journal the new york times. They're all based on the east coast ended in a very specific area of the east coast that could only be beneficial for american the media for the american media landscape to have a counterweight on this side of the country because even if we look at further opt to the bay area the the san francisco chronicle can't read really measure up to the same level as well and clutter of course. You're you're from portugal and you were living here in london. How how did he change your immediate consumption especially for print media in the u._s. Because every time i go there by the way i love l. a. but it's quite hard to find a new stand or somewhere where you can buy the proper newspaper or a magazine right from my own experience. What i had to change mostly was not being able to find the newspaper every every day or a magazine every day. Just as i'd go for a little walk during my lunch hour mainly because there's not much walking involved unless unless you really plan for it and also because you know what we in europe i guess conceive as a traditional news. Kiosk is not really a concept. That's very much explored here now so you can find some newspaper kiosks. If you have to plan your day around it now what is easy to find here are those little newspaper boots sponsored answered by each papers to in this case you'll find the los angeles times newspaper dispensary type thing all the side of the road sometimes outside supermarkets or buy gas stations and convenience stores where you can just put some coins and get your newspaper for the day and usually you have at least two or three different newspapers vapors on offer. You'll always los angeles times then the regional newspaper from where you are in the city and then another one that might be free and that's probably the easiest and quickest way that people get access to the newspaper as there are stopping by three fuel their car or just to pop into your convenience store to grab some coffee or something finally want to actually. Are you reading during the weekend. Are you reading the los angeles times or is there any american magazines things that you find it quite cool. I started reading. The los angeles times for sure way more since i've been here but it's interesting with this story as well because i've been reading most of it online through a subscription so i guess some one of the thirty thousand dave netted this year but it's exactly because of the convenience of it all and i guess that's why i find this story so surprising because i think in a city like los angeles it does make more sense to be reading a newspaper of this caliber online. If you cannot plan your day either to go and pick it up yourself or to have it delivered to your door. Thank you aw to home now. Our bureau chief there. James chambers have been covering the protests here the whole week at monaco twenty four for the stack. I spoke with in about how the main papers in hong kong are covering the protests and how fake news is affecting the way stories are being reported. This has been going on over nine weeks now. In hong kong so it's been a very active time for the press in the media in hong kong take these protests have been going on throughout the weekends and long into the evening and we've all been kept very busy in front of journalists point of view. It's a very interesting exciting exciting time to be in hong kong because it's very lively. It's very important debate. That's going on there and there's a lot of stories to be covered from that point of view a very interesting in taipei hong kong but obviously there's a lot of different angles. There's a lot of different <hes> stories to be told. Hong kong has got a very deep rover historic. The media landscape is a lot of newspapers. It's a hub footprint on a daily basis. The pumping out loads of different newspapers you see newspaper distributors all around the city a a lot of people sitting down there reading newspapers on obviously even though it's august and this is traditionally the time when more <hes> silly in terms of of the news it's actually every day. This important story is being pushed out so this is china morning. Post is obviously the main english language newspaper and in terms of newspapers the irish get the lowdown on. What's what's going on it. It's certainly the one i go to every day and that's got very interesting recent history because a few years ago it was bought by jack ma who's obviously mainland chinese. He's and he's the founder of alibaba there was a lot of people who are nervous in hong kong that his ownership of it would lead to essentially self censorship and pulling stories that were critical of beijing asia and brought to the english language community in hong kong. That was the the main newspaper that they went to more of a kind of liberal and unbiased angle. What's actually turned is. That's probably not not the case. It's always hard with self sense. You never know what story they're not covering just by the definition but actually in terms of this latest protests such imposed on this off offer being very active then news room is very well respected and they've got some grey hairs and old heads in there who is still keeping the flame going from the old days at least from from my point of view. I think coverage has been very robust. It's being very fair and balanced to to both sides you know i think it would be a bit unfair to criticize is them and actually what is interesting is. The protesters themselves haven't really been turning on the south china morning. Post certain media companies in hong kong who've been seen as too pro government pro. Police have actually reporters and the cars and vans have been targeted by protests. This is which nobody wants to see in terms of how the is covering. Maybe indication that bad. Journalists seemed to be <hes> respect both sides. Tell me the names of perhaps other papers. Is that offer this more pro-beijing coverage as well. Are they popular when it comes to sales as well. I guess the leading chinese-language newspaper is one called old ming pao. That's very popular. It's huge circulation in what is still quite small city that was historically quite a liberal newspaper paper to but over the years has been growing concerns that beijing is being able to assert its authority control over that newspaper more and more that have been certain certain instance in last few years where editors have been attacked or fired for writing stories or letting stories go through a publishing stories that have been being critical of beijing there was one guy who's who's actually stabbed because he's related to his story that looked into the chinese leadership and then he was later sacked for publishing something about the panama papers which also also covered the chinese leadership ming pao published an editorial early on in the protests in june to advocate labeling these protests as a riots now whether so these protests are riots on autism has been very important because if it determines then how the the people involved with people arrested can be prosecuted and they face up to ten years in jail if you're involved the riots to call it a riot is the towing the government and the pro beijing line of what was interesting is that staff at the newspaper issued their own open in letter criticizing that editorial and saying that it's to kind of biased supra-government and it doesn't represent the frontline news reporting. There's this tussle the inside ming pao. That's been going on for a few years now. Between i guess the ownership and the editorial which is more biased towards beijing and then actually many of the staff who worked at these protests. I've got a lot of support from across hong kong and that's reflected in the newsroom as well so a lot of newspapers all having these internal tussles finally james so just like to ask you. I mean you know we talk a lot about fake news in the last years. Is that something we're seeing in hong kong in general not only imprint <hes> <hes> especially in relation to the protests fake news is becoming a huge issue with these protests. The first concern is just the rumors that fly around around <hes> the these ridiculous ones about how the government was going to introduce a curfew popular one is that some of the the police saw all the thugs involved <music>. Are you know mainland army officers or police <hes> they've also suggested that carolina chief executive has taken this time to go on holiday the all those things a laughable but what's kind of dangerous element is that these rooms fake news has a as an impact on what people believe in terms of things that actually do happen. One of the big events that happened recently was on the eve of on the anti-government protests. The police raided this protest house and found some what they said was bomb-making material. Now that's very worrying. If if there is some kind of renegade protester who was planning to detonate a bomb i mean that would cause untold deaths in hong kong but the question is <music> who believes that who believe what the police is saying so this. This story is being reported but there's a lotta doubt about whether it's accurate and a lot of media who lead lean towards democracy received protests side didn't even report it as a lot of fake news. Real news get sucked in <hes> an an and there's a lotta doubt about what's what you can believe and what you can't so <hes>. I think that's this danger about these things that was james. Chambres monaco's hong kong bureau chief. That's it for this. Week's show my thanks editor staff chong. If you have any comments aquarius feel free to write to me fianna at f. b. At monaco dot com remember number were back next saturday at the same time and of course it can always listen to it again and monaco dot com or on i tunes before we go a little song for you about new york of course course this is low read. We've walk on the wild side. You'd be listening to the stack by sheer coup and to next time it's goodbye from new york city. He is the place where the said he'd be. Take a walk on the wild side whole said hey joel to walk on the wild side of of you shook goosebumps very came and hit the streets look at the seoul gruden of pleased when to the.