Way back in October, I had a bit of a whinge (how unlike me) about City Life’s makeover, how the focus group I’d been in had been ignored and how the editor attacked a reader on the letters page (anybody would think he was writing a blog, not a magazine). Yet I have to admit that while the letters page – which is for readers, not hacks, to let off steam – continues to absent itself for weeks on end, recent issues have seen a marked improvement. It’s like the new regime has found its confidence and the magazine is maturing rather than dumbing down.
And the improvement isn’t something I can put my finger on: a good thing. There has been no obvious reversal of editorial policy. That ignored focus group saw signs that that City Life aimed to become a mono-cultural Heat for Manchester, unable to represent the full cultural experience. It had mourned the death of the old Archisnap column, which I read, but never rated that highly, and more importantly the Citizen, which represented a smidgen of politics. Now Archisnap’s Phil Griffin has been brought back for the odd column and there’s a bit of a news section near the front, but that alone isn’t what’s turned things around. Pagination’s grown, the design is cleaner. The magazine still (rightly) celebrates a young Manchester lifestyle, but it hasn’t lived up to fear that it would forget that the only useful listings magazine is a comprehensive one. City Life hasn’t dumbed down after all and should still build circulation at the margins populated by allegedly high-brow cultural pursuits… it can still do literature.
So. I was wrong. (Although the website is very poor and orphaning a gossip column thing amongst the listings is rather odd.)
City Life’s lobotomy
Britney Spears Do Somethin’: I was wrong#2……REACH & animal testing: I was wrong#4