Editor's Note: The magazine today


Author: Kerry Temple ’74

I have always loved magazines. I remember, as a boy, poring over the copies of Life and Look, The Saturday Evening Post and National Geographic, Boys’ Life, Sports Illustrated, even Redbook, Vogue, Good Housekeeping and Time that came into our house. I read the articles, stared at the photos and studied how text and image combined to create in my imagination stories, people and news events. I noticed the headlines and white space and typography, and savored the whole experience found in those pages that carried me into the wider world.

It was different from TV and the movies, different from books. The right mix of edification and entertainment. The right depth of intellectual engagement. The right amount of time sitting still. Pictures that could speak a thousand words, pictures that could say what words could not.

A magazine could be picked up, put down, returned to. And it enabled my thoughts to travel far beyond the carriage of paper and ink.

All of us here have this same affection for the print media, the value of good writing, the matching of art and text, typography, heart, wisdom and thought laid out onto the pages of a magazine. Pulling together this bundle of stories, art and photography each quarter and then sharing this tangible gift with you is great fun. It’s also fulfilling, as this university allows us to cover and convey the range and richness, the spectrum of human experience that Notre Dame embraces.

But we’re also keen on the changes that have taken place in this world of magazines and know a magazine is no longer confined to paper and ink. It has a new, expanded life in this digital age. Even though our staff size has remained the same for 40 years, we are now doing a lot more than a quarterly print edition.

Some print pieces have complementary components — additional coverage, videos and galleries of still photography. Our website, magazine.nd.edu, once little more than an electronic version of the print piece, has now gained a mind of its own, with original work, three to four new offerings per week. There are regular book blogs, columns by the editors to provide a window onto campus, op-ed pieces from faculty, reflective essays from alumni and contributions from a cadre of regular contributors.

Current highlights include John Nagy ’00M.A., director of our website operations, mixing text with multimedia productions to document the new basilica organ, and Professor Robert Schmuhl ’70 (who has a feature in this issue) serving as pundit on the presidential campaigns.

Additionally, Jason Kelly ’95 has been serving lately as our social media jockey, tweeting dispatches and posting on our Facebook site — not just noteworthy University-related items but also links to stuff we think our readers would be interested in, including “staff picks” articles from other publications.

We’re also beginning to send email alerts to those who have donated to the magazine in the past couple of years (anyone can opt in or out), announcing stories we think you should know about, keeping our reading community tuned in to the latest offerings.

Notre Dame Magazine is not just a print quarterly anymore. But everything we do derives from its long-standing character, approach and quality — while we continue to produce the print publication with as much love as ever.

Kerry Temple is editor of this magazine.

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