This past April marked the fifth anniversary of our other publication, the 209 Magazine.
For those who might have missed it, the 209 Magazine is a glossy, lifestyle, print publication released every other month and distributed throughout the 209 area code. Contributors to its content include staffers of the Oakdale Leader, Escalon Times, Riverbank News, Turlock Journal, Ceres Courier and Manteca Bulletin. Newspaper writers by day and magazine journalists by night … well or day or early morning. Quite honestly we write (for any publication) when we carve out the time.
All publications owned by the same company, Morris Multimedia. Forgive me as I spell this all out, as the ongoing question of friends and family seems to find me of “how do you juggle both jobs?” or the ever popular, “so the paper is okay with you writing for a magazine as well?”
My hope is the breakdown now might help a curious reader, as it has my immediate circle.
Magazine writing has provided a fun outlet for those of us restricted to a specific zip code/coverage area. The 209 is a wide and vast area code, giving us opportunity to branch out and bring new experiences to our readers.
Most recently colleague Virginia Still and I were treated to a trip to Minneapolis to not just branch out, but truly get our feet wet in the magazine world as we attended the City and Regional Magazine Association Conference. Representatives from magazines throughout the United States were in attendance at the three day affair. It was without a doubt a career experience we won’t forget.
Arriving on a Saturday, from a 6 a.m. flight out of San Francisco we hit the ground running once we arrived at the Conference destination. As we chatted with others from New Jersey, Texas, Chicago and New York we quickly became aware of our ‘green’ status.
While conference attendance was not new for our publication it was a first for the two of us. The two of us however, quickly learned not only our dynamic ability as a team, but why our General Manager selected us to go. Both passionate about the magazine, our readers and its quality, we were sponges in each and every workshop.
The passion we each share might also attribute to our lack of intimidation as we found ourselves in the company of some “who’s who” of the magazine business. Like any industry conference, the days were long and jam packed with workshops, mingling and a bit more mingling. So many gracious and encouraging people, as we shared stories of successes and challenges, everyone just as eager as the two of us to learn from one another.
In short, the four day travel to learn, grow and bring back tips of the trade for our team was time away well worth it. Our hope now is that it’s not only translated to further great things for the publication, but equally appreciated by our readers.
So when you see our names in the byline of 209 I hope you come away with two things: No, we’re not moonlighting on our “day” job of the newspaper trade and yes, we care just as much about what goes into those pages as the newsprint we work on weekly.
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of flipping through this publication you can get a glimpse at www.209magazine.com.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 847-3021.