Being an Editor of a Magazine is Political

Editor is political

A question was asked of me the other day, and I wanted to share it.

Q: What’s the difference in your mind between your work as a podcaster and writer and as an editor of Mushing Magazine?

A: The vast difference is that I must think more about management and structure.

Before acquiring the magazine, I wanted to tell impactful and powerful stories and share people’s experiences in the sport, mostly through our podcast platform. These are, by and large, human-interest stories.

Now, I realize there’s a ripple effect of what we say, how we say it, and to whom we say it, depending on the platform we’re using.

Editing and overseeing the management of Mushing-related news and content for a publication like Mushing Magazine can be tricky. Certain things must be mindful of when it comes to what we publish and produce; it’s a very political position.

I never understood that being an editor was so political. You must be mindful of how you approach a subject, not just because of the liabilities but also because we have a particular responsibility to the community we represent.



I bring this up because we receive a lot of comments and even more private messages every time we post a story or a podcast, and it is time to make a statement. The question above was asked to me the other day.

Since the beginning, we have been transparent with you regarding our processes as we transfer over to the new owners.

We have been in the media space for a very long time. I have been a professional podcaster who has earned most of his money from the industry since 2009. Since then, I have continuously published stories for two reasons.

1. To give my guests a platform to tell their stories without judgment.
2. Published stories about people in the sport who were either in the spotlight at that moment or, more importantly, relatively unknown outside of the larger fan base.

Podcasting has always been an uncensored medium. Hosts go to the space to do what they want in the media. It has never been scrutinized by the typical press (radio, TV, newspapers, and even magazines, for the most part).

Social media is changing how we look at stories.

Firstly, we only have a limited amount of space in our publication and on our podcast. There are four issues a year, so four features or cover stories may or may not be about one person.

Inside the magazine, space is dedicated to two stories that are people-oriented (e.g., about a particular musher).

The podcast releases an episode weekly, so there is an opportunity for 52 long-form interviews.

Add those up, and we will have 64 spots to feature individual people in a calendar year. That’s it.

It is important to note that we always contact people and ask them to come to our program. Most of the time, we do not hear back. Often, we reach out because someone says, “You should talk to so and so.” Our policy has always been that we will reach out twice; if they do not reply, we will not contact them again for a story/podcast.

Secondly, we must be mindful of the content on our media. I know it is all about clicks, likes, and engagement in today’s world, but that is not why we bought this magazine. We want to be the historians of written content from periodicals in the sport. We have two major properties and have been in contact with a few others we are considering acquiring. As these historians, we must preserve this information for future generations. That also means telling ethical stories and producing content that is not for the immediate satisfaction culture of today’s social media.

So, what does that mean to you as a fan? If the people you want to hear from do not want to be featured, you need to urge them to be featured.

We have always had a policy not to pay our guests to be on our show or in our magazine. We will also not spread rumors or gossip.

I say all of this in this post because we will be changing how we cover stories and feature individuals. Starting tomorrow, we will release guidelines for our publication and other media in line with more mainstream publications.

Stay tuned.

Robert Forto
Managing Partner
Mushing Magazine

Share:

More Posts