Afar, a new travel magazine and “media brand”


Afar magazine.

In the old days, when someone started a new publication, it was called a magazine launch. In our post-print world, though, such an event is referred to as the launch of a “media brand.” That means a highly functioning destination website with original content, including video; it means television programming; it means products.

This is what I gather from the plans that have been made for Afar, a travel magazine that will debut August 18. As Adweek reports today, publishers AFAR Media are rolling out the publication first and over the next year or so, with related initiatives to follow. Here’s a quick description of Afar, direct from the magazine’s media kit:

“AFAR is the media brand for experiential travelers who have both the desire and the means to immerse themselves in other cultures, to engage with local people, and to enrich their own lives.” The magazine’s tagline: “Where travel can take you.” (It’s kind of like something Yogi Berra might say if he’d been hanging out with, say, Paul Coehlo.)

Adweek, which was given an exclusive preview of the magazine, says the premiere issue features stories on “cow fighting in Switzerland, treehouse lodging around the world and bunny chow (a South African—and rabbit-free—street food). The cover depicts a rocky Moroccan coastline.”

No word on what the plan is for photography. Do they have the budget and desire to commission images that are above and beyond? (Terrible pun, but a serious and worthwhile question.) The director of photography is Tara Guertin, who was a photo editor at Lucky and Talk magazine s. I did a quick Google search on her and found her on Twitter (she’s @afarfotos) and (in April, she was looking for photographers in Zanzibar and Chaing Rai). She’s also part of a Q&A series posted in April at Stone Thrower. The topic was “The Worst Mistakes Photographers Make.” Here’s what Tara wrote:

“In general, what comes to mind first and foremost is lack of enthusiasm for the work, and thus not putting 100% into it. Some young photographers can have a sense of entitlement that drives me crazy! The worst mistake a photographer could make on a shoot would be not shooting enough … too many people have too many ideas how things should look, especially on the advertising side!”

I’m looking forward to seeing the first issue of Afar, and to seeing where Tara wants to take us, photographically speaking.



One Comment

  1. Posted 12/20/2009 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    People are still staring new magazines in 2009? Trying to grasp the last few breaths of a dying industry? Everything media is going digital, and content is now low-prodit.

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