Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Students and faculty at Northwestern College (Iowa) release a tablet magazine app into Apple's Newsstand, built using the Mag+ publishing platform

A good friend of mine used to be the principal at the local high school. At that time I used to be invited in to talk to the yearbook class about the publishing business. Half the class was interested in what I had to say, the other half just wanted to pass the class and move on with their lives.

My friend the principal eventually was moved up to superintendent of the whole school district. But in a recent conversation with him I said that the journalism and other publishing classes really should be concentrating on digital media, that while learning about print wouldn't be a complete waste of time, the teachers owed it to their students to prepare them for the business that exists today, let alone in the future. He agreed, then reminded me that this isn't his area anymore.

That is one reason I keep a look out for new digital publications coming out of schools such as this new Newsstand magazine from Northwestern College, a private Christian liberal arts college located in Orange City, Iowa.

I haven't a clue why the magazine is called Cardboard, maybe that is their sports mascot – if so, then they have the second best mascot name after UC Santa Cruz who are the Banana Slugs – but I have a feeling that is not the reason for the name.

In any case, the new magazine has appeared in the Newsstand under the developer account name of the faculty advisor Dayne Logan, who also serves as the faculty adviser to the college's student newspaper, the Beacon. Inside the app the premiere issue editors are listed as Linden Figgie, Abbie Goldschmid, Justine Johnson and Tom Westerholm while the magazine's advisor is Richard Sowienski; the app's project manager was Priyanka Fernando, with Dayne Logan the advisor on the app project.

To build their digital magazine the team used the Mag+ platform. The result, of course, is a native tablet magazine which has its first issue weighing in at 78 MB due to the limited number of pages inside the issue (though both orientations were used in the magazine).

The digital magazine is free to access, of course, which gives others interested in the platform yet another example to see. Hopefully the faculty at Northwestern College will continue to support the new digital edition going forward as the publication looks great and I'm sure the students found the exercise in digital publishing a worthwhile venture.