Young people opt for print

When students at Penn State decided this summer to start a magazine called Impact, they planned to have both an online and offline presence—that is, a print magazine. “We feel print is really important,” stated co-founder and co-editor Frances Starn. Speaking on the magazine’s Kickstarter video she said “We feel that having people be able to hold the magazine in their hand and see something will help us reach the widest audience possible.”

What? These are college students, the people raised on the Internet, wirelessly connected 24/7. Wouldn’t they prefer to consume content on one of their several devices? Not so, according to a poll released this summer by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. The poll found that 75 percent of young adults aged 16-29 years of age said they have read at least one book in print in the past year, compared with 65 percent of adults 30 and older.

“Younger Americans’ reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, a research analyst at Pew Research.  Americans under 30 are just as likely as older adults to visit the library and borrow print books, she said.

Sure, they love their technology, but there’s something about the look and feel of the printed page which they find attractive.

Northwestern College students plan Christian magazine

Northwestern College English professor Richard Sowienski decided to do more than teach about magazine publishing. He decided to put his teaching to the test of the real world by encouraging his publishing class to launch a national magazine for Christian college students.

Titled Cardboard, the magazine’s mission is to explore culture and faith from a creative Christian perspective. According to a recent article in the Beacon, the college newspaper, the name “Cardboard,” refers to cardboard as a container, representing the belief that humans need to be filled by God. The name also reflects the impermanence of life on earth.

“For now,” says the Beacon, “Cardboard is written entirely by Sowienski’s class. However, the magazine’s future will include freelance articles by college students across the country.”

“We want to be a national magazine,” says Sowienski. “When the first group of students developed the mission statement, I was so amazed and touched. I was moved by their passion for this magazine with its Christian mission.”

Because of the magazine’s potential, the publishing course was offered a second time and a new team of students are working to launch it. In order to achieve a more professional standard, the publishing class has partnered with Journey Group, a Virginia firm specializing in high-quality magazine publishing.

The publishing course will continue permanently in two formats, an introductory class and an advanced one.

“[The] publishing [class] started out as a one-time offering,” says Sowienski. “But the more the students worked on the magazine, the more excited they got, and the more excited I got as well.” Students who pass both courses will be able to continue to work on Cardboard as editors and advisors, possibly in paid work-study positions.

“Magazines are in my blood,” says Sowienski, who worked for 20 years in publishing before entering academia. Previously, he served as parenting and education editor of Better Homes and Gardens, senior editor of Successful Farming, and managing editor of The Missouri Review, a lliterary magazine.

To read Cardboard, visit