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Readers of our Summer Spiritual Journal print edition gave us great feedback with many wondering about whether New Earth Almanac is in fact a journal or a magazine. "It's too pretty to be a journal!" some said. Below is a little background on the distinctions between the two and why we ultimately landed on calling ourselves a Spiritual Journal. Read on and then let us know your thoughts, too!
A journal is a publication devoted to a particular field or area of study that is designed to serve the professionals working within the industry of focus. This contrasts magazines, which are written by writers (who may not be experts in a field) and are geared more generally towards a mass audience who lack expertise. Magazines are also designed based on advertising support, which is in contrast to the typical journal which thrives based on readership support from the industry they serve. While journals can carry ads too, it is common for journals not to run ads at all, and it is not unusual for contributing writers to pay fees to a journal in order to have their work published. Magazines on the other hand base funding in great part to advertising in order to pay writers to conduct interviews with experts and quote them in their articles, rather than having direct expertise on the topics they write about themselves. Journals thus provide opportunities to working professionals to share their expertise first-hand and both demonstrate and promote advancements in a field based on their experiences, research or study. As a result, journal articles may be written using technical terms, key words and jargon familiar to an area of discipline, unlike magazines which tend to keep language accessible to the mass market. In serving industry professionals, journals also tend to challenge their readership with articles that invoke discussion to evolve their industry further. When it comes to design, historically journals have been pretty dry when it comes to presentation compared to magazines. Most do not have colorful images or photographs included, in favor of more academic illustrations such as graphs and charts.
New Earth Almanac was started to address the lack of professional-level coverage and opportunities for healers around the world to come together and share their voices, stories and medicine. With so many disciplines falling under the metaphysical and spiritual banners, we endeavor to create an open space, professional publication where we can come together, pass the talking stick to one another, bring many different perspectives into focus on a range of topics, and ultimately reflect on the role of healing in society today, as well as present a Collective voice or snapshot of how we as an industry can grow in order to change our world for the better.
We also reject the idea that a journal-style publication needs to remain dry and boring in presentation. Healing is a colorful experience... and we plan to fill our pages with plenty of it!
What do you think about the New Earth Almanac’s position as a journal vs. a magazine? Share your thoughts with us in comments, and if you picked up a copy of the Summer print edition, give us your full feedback in our online survey here.