After graduating from the University of Oxford with a BA in English and German, Matt Alagiah, 29, started his career as associate editor of independent magazine Monocle before taking a leap into the digital realm as editor of It’s Nice That.
How did you handle the transition from digital to print?
The metabolism of an online publication is much quicker as we are publishing at least ten stories a day, which is something I had to get used to. With digital, you are your own distributors, dispensing your work to millions of followers through many different platforms.
How does this fast-paced nature affect your working environment?
Great storytelling is greatstory telling, whether it is in a magazine or online. I think it’s the immediacy that effects the environment. With digital you can release a story and within ten minutes, 200 people are looking at it.
Does this make it an exciting time to be a journalist?
Yes and no. Opening a new magazine and knowing you’re the first one to touch it is very exciting to me. But online allows you to see results immediately through data, you can see exactly what stories have captivated your audience the most and that is very valuable knowledge.
What advice would you give to any journalists looking to make the move into the digital world?
The skills at the heart of good journalism should always remain the same. But I think a greater understanding of how the digital world works is needed as you are now in charge of your own distribution. As a journalist, you need a good understanding of the channels and how they are feeding the wider echo systems of your brand.
How do you cope with the pace of change in journalism?
The digital world moves very quickly so in order to stay relevant it’s best not to paint yourself into a corner. You have to be across as many different platforms as possible. We’re across social media, website, print and events, helping us to maintain relevancy within the creative industry.
You have brand extensions, such as #callforcollaboration with Dropbox and Nicer Tuesdays. What’s their purpose?
It’s definitely about connecting with the audience more. Nicer Tuesdays welcomes 400-450 people every month, and it’s a great way of meeting everyone and engaging with them in a much more meaningful way. It really allows us to understand who our audience is. There’s a lot of noise out there in the digital space so it helps to maintain relevancy within our audience. Being across multiple platforms is crucial, but meeting people face to face results in a deeper connection.
Printed Pages is your bi-monthly magazine. What’s it about
We are in the process of redesigning it. The independent print magazine industry is exploding at the minute, so we are keen to lead that trend. We used to focus on the website content for the magazine, but now we’re pivoting to more original content. We want to produce beautiful, more niche content that isn’t available online. Hopefully, this will give our readers more incentive to purchase it.
What do you think the future of print holds?
Most of us are reading more and more. We spend our lives looking at screens and people are getting tired of it. It’s nice to look at something beautiful that isn’t backlit.