Interview with J School Instructor Andrea Mancini




Ingorda Publishing recently released the Fall 2017 issue of Blending magazine. Florence University of the Arts course titled Magazine Editing and Publishing I provides students with a professional magazine production experience with Ingorda Publishing. Ingorda was established in 2008 with the primary objective of providing a viable publishing counterpart to FUA's academic vision. Under the supervision of faculty members, students curate every aspect of production including design, writing, photos, editing and layouts. The class produces a semi-annual issue of Blending magazine, a professional lifestyle magazine created by FUA. The magazine represents the student’s approach to living in Florence covering topics such as arts, gastronomy, travel, style and city scenes. The idea is to express the students’ unique perspective of the city. The Fall 2017 issue was coordinated by instructor Andrea Mancini featuring the topic of the FUA/ Stony Brook 2017 conference titled 1968: Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Reflections on the 1960's.


Interview with Andrea Mancini, FUA Professor:


What is your perspective on the Magazine class?
“Some of the students have an education in literature or journalism, but most of them are just so curious about journalism and hungry to know    what it is like to work on an editorial team. They have so many questions about the realization of a magazine, fed by the imagination and fascination of journalism. News, fashion and features have always been communicated to them, in part, through magazines. This is my second year teaching the magazine class, but I’ve learned so much from the experience. It has given me great satisfaction to be able to guide these students and help them to create something important. They really achieve a lot with the opportunities provided by FUA. Last year they had interviews with Art Directors, New Entrepreneurs, Musicians and even fashion photographers who reside abroad with the use of Skype. I think the most important thing is to stimulate their creativity and encourage their enthusiasm.”


How has magazine production changed from the 1960s to today?
“Magazines have changed a lot in the last twenty years, I have experienced this personally. I can just imagine how much different it was in the 60s! First of all, I think the public has changed greatly; in those years the public obtained their news in a very different way than today. In addition, there was a smaller variety of magazines, but more were sold and to a less educated audience. Today’s market is very competitive, back then they had less competitors so it was easier in the market. Magazines sold more copies in those years, and some of the magazines literally "wrote" the story with the use of images (for example LIFE magazine.) Those magazines were an inspiration for generations of writers and photographers.”


How has the amount of production and technology changed with the option for online availability?
“Of course, it has changed a lot. One of the most popular newspapers in Italy in the 1980s (when I attended high school) was ‘La Repubblica’ which exceeded 3 million copies sold. Today, the same newspaper decreased so much that it does not sell over 300,000 copies. It would be too easy to put the blame on the “digital” version of the newspaper, because doesn’t have much more than 50,000 subscribers. The true reason is the media-mix of the "internet/social networks/TV-on-demand" that are replacing the printed material, due to the demand of the consumers. Tablets and new models of smartphones have certainly contributed greatly to this change.”


How have computers and Photoshop changed the production of magazines?
“When I attended art school, I started working with a small editorial team on a sports newspaper in my hometown. I went there to sketch the weekly comic-strip every Monday and to be inspired by the reporters. In that little editorial staff there was about twenty people, each working on their own role. There were at least six designers, three editors, two typographers and two proof-readers. In addition, three boys were employed to deliver the newspaper. Today, with the computer, internet, and Photoshop, all of the editorial jobs can be done by a single person, perhaps two, and ten times faster...This is my personal thought about how magazine production has changed.”


How have social topics changed?
“Today, there are words from the past that are no longer used. We don't say ‘people’, but ‘community’. Topics in a magazine have to reach a wide audience and have a common interest. Everything revolves around what people are interested in as this attracts them to purchase the magazine. So many activities have become popular such as cooking, hobbies and travel. Specialized magazines are becoming more and more frequent and each of them has a common interest in the same subject. We could say that personal attitudes have replaced mass strategies to prevail over time, becoming an almost endless show...Always creating new targets for the market.”


Do you have any other additional information you would like to share?
“My new magazine class will approach, for the first time, new topics such as ‘Design’. The students will conduct very special interviews with Luca Checchi (Advertising), Rovai-Weber (Graphic Design), Marco Ornella (Architecture 9999). All of the students are ready for the challenge, of which the keyword will be “Revolution” in alignment with the theme of this year’s conference “1968: Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”


Future editions of this course can be consulted at the FUA academic schedule.




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