“Success is something so relative that changes depending on a country’s customs, culture and education

Inspiring people

07/12/2016

Interviewed Mª Eugnia Alberti, editor of JOYCE Magazine.

You've headed Joyce magazine for 25 years. A quarter of a century. Has it gone by quickly? Does it have any special significance for you?

A lot can happen in 25 years. Some moments moved at a dizzying speed; others at a snail's pace. The former seem to coincide with joyful moments, whereas the latter tend to be darker times, difficult periods that seem to never end. When I really think about it, this job has brought out the best in me in terms of my ability to communicate. I've had the enormous good fortune of finding great readers with whom to communicate.

Did you always want to be a journalist?

It never crossed my mind. My father was a journalist and a judge. Really I'm not a journalist. I have a degree in French language and literature, but due to an amazing coincidence, I ended up as the editor-in-chief at a magazine, tasked with transforming and relaunching it as something very different. The magazine was called Dunia.

How does one lead a magazine like Joyce for 25 years?

With passion, enthusiasm, good colleagues, professionals who see themselves reflected in the magazine's intentions and content, and who know how to weather the many tough moments that print media is going through these days.

What is Joyce to you?

A sublime obsession, intoxicating, like a powerful drug.

What do you like most about your profession? And what do you like least?

I love everything about my profession. There is something magical about working on a magazine. It's a privilege. If you love writing and communicating, you're going to love this job. There is only one “but” in my particular case: I have to alternate between creative work and business, and I wasn't prepared for the latter at all.

Over the course of these 25 years, you have experienced very different political, social and cultural situations. What has been the most challenging moment for you as the magazine's director?

The mission of a magazine like Joyce is to contemplate the world in all its facets, all its changes, except for the political. There are other publications for that. In any case, the most challenging moments—and there haven't been that many—are the inevitable attacks on the freedom of the press.

How is Joyce adapting to the new digital age?

As well as it can. We're currently working on improving our online presence, which leaves much to be desired at this point, but we're determined to see it through. No one on staff is happy with it. After several attempts, we really want to think the project through to develop something as radically different and original as the print version.

What does the future of traditional print magazines look like?

I'm not clairvoyant. The predictions are all dire, but the years go by, and we—the print magazines—are still here. There are so many studies, saying so many different things. I like to refer to a recent statement by a media heavyweight, in TV news no less: Tommy Evans, director of CNN International. He said, “They used to say television would be the end of radio, but it only grew stronger. The same thing will happen with digital. It won't do away with print media.” Personally I would add that this is especially true for opinion and lifestyle magazines, like ours, which are already considered “niche” publications.

Joyce publishes opinion pieces, articles on fashion, travel, even food. How would you describe your publication?

Very touche à tout. It is an opinion magazine that covers a wide range of eclectic topics of interest to a specific group of people today. In order to be complete, the magazine needs to cover all of these aspects of life. Unfortunately, we end up leaving some out.

How would you describe a typical Joyce reader?

I really like the fact that you're asking me this question in perfect Spanish rather than referring to our magazine's readers as the “target” [in English]. Our readers are over 30, most of them are university graduates and display very contemporary sensibilities and, of course, are looking for a magazine that offers something different from what is available at the newspaper stand. And in this regard, Joyce meets their expectations. However, what I consider the most important qualities in our readers are their humanity and intellect and their unwavering loyalty.

What is your opinion on contemporary journalism?

Depends on the kind of journalism, the newspaper or magazine in question. Save for the tabloids—which I'm not really interested in—all other publications should have their own personality, criteria and way of understanding current events. There is no such thing as one kind of journalism, whether mediocre or brilliant.

Do you think that women's magazines like Joyce help women achieve gender equality?

I'd like to clarify something. Joyce is not necessarily a women's magazine. Starting with our covers, which rarely feature a woman. In terms of content, Joyce tries to strike a balance between the interests of men and women. Our opinion columns, among the most-read content in Joyce, aren't gender-specific, they aren't aimed at women, and neither are our articles about art, culture, architecture, design, gastronomy... None of these topics are gender specific. When it comes to fashion and style, practically all of the issues try to satisfy both his and her curiosity about what’s new. As for achieving greater equality, at Joyce we firmly believe in gender equality. And if you ask me if we’re feminists, then yes, our entire team is. And if this needs to be made clear from time to time, we do.

What is the key to success in your opinion?

I have no idea. I wish I knew, but for me and my team, success is something so relative that changes depending on a country's customs, culture and education. If success means posing for publicity shots all day, getting invites to the hottest parties and selling thousands of copies by putting out superficial, if not dangerous messages, then we'd rather not be successful.

Do you have any short-term projects?

At Joyce, we always operate on the short and medium-term, which is what keeps the magazine fresh and dynamic. We approach every issue as though it were our first. On a practical level, we're working on building our ideal online presence and consistently improving our print edition.

 

A Brief Taste

Do you like wine?

This might strike you as a vile attempt at flattery. I do love wine, but only one, and it happens to be yours. I've said this publicly and privately, in my magazine and in all interviews I've ever given: I really like chilled white wine with an ice cube, but only and exclusively Viña Esmeralda. It is an integral part of my life.

What is the best moment to enjoy a glass of wine?

In all honesty, wine is a great companion in good times, but also the perfect ally when life takes a bad turn.

A song to accompany a good wine.

It all depends on the time of day, the company, the landscape, the atmosphere... So many songs provide a fitting and unforgettable backdrop, from Mozart to Leonard Cohen.

A place to get lost in.

My house every once in a while. Further afield... any place in France that isn't Paris, where I lived for many years, Portugal, Italy or Greece.

If you could be reincarnated, who or what would you be?

Oh dear! Reincarnation! Passing on all the vicissitudes, madness, mistakes, risks that I've lived in this life to another karma... I wouldn't wish that on any being, vertebrate or invertebrate.

A flaw and a virtue.

Sometimes the line separating flaw and virtue is incredibly thin, but if I had to choose only one, I'd say selfishness and generosity.

What do you do in your free time?

I don't have free time. Like I said, I'm completely addicted to what I do, and whenever I'm away from it, even for a little while, I get withdrawal symptoms. Two other things I can't live without are reading and cooking.

What did you want to be as a child?

As a child and as an adult: a dancer. And if my relatives and friends are to be believed, I'm not half bad. I'm in constant motion.

Categorías: Inspiring people