Unless you’ve ever edited or written for a magazine, you may be unaware of the pressure of deadlines that mean a publication must be “put to bed” long before it appears on the streets.
Less so than in the era of hot metal, now that digital processes have telescoped production times down, doing away with the need for the editor to take a bold and sometimes inaccurate punt on what seems a certain story, or to reserve a “Stop Press!” column for the addition of late breaking news.
Having to write my column for May’s Hawkesbury Parish News halfway through April, it would be tempting fate to write about the success of the third Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, when it is still a week away. Even though it will be a week in the past by the time the magazine is out, I’ll keep quiet on that score till the June issue, with fingers firmly crossed.
But writing these words when we’re about to celebrate all things literary in the village, it seems the perfect time to thank Colin Dixon for stepping into the editor’s role, so ably filled for so long by Fiona Rowe, and the whole team that continues to work, month in, month out, giving readers a value way beyond the magazine’s modest cover price. #
In an era when so many local papers are being supplanted by online news and information services, long may our beloved Hawkesbury Parish News continue to be a valuable glue cementing our community together, whatever changes future technology may bring.
In Praise of Community Magazines