Barney Guiton, Swipe
This morning we’re at work with editor Barney Guiton of Swipe magazine. If you live in London you may have seen the new, fortnightly ree magazine being handed out on your early morning London tube commute. Aimed at the ‘millennial’, Swipe is determined to stand out from the other free mags by providing readers with ‘the best of the Internet in print.’
Where are you today?
Swipe’s office at Ugli Campus in White City.
What can you see from the window?
A charming view of the car park and bins, but there is a fox who visits from time to time. Someone was using a drone to inspect the roofs of the warehouses opposite earlier actually, which caused some excitement.
Are you a morning or evening person?
Definitely an evening person but I quite like coming to things fresh on Monday mornings.
Which magazine do you first remember?
I think it was called Dinosaur and I would read it cover-to-cover when I was little. I then graduated on to Kerrang! which was my real introduction to magazines.
What’s your favourite magazine this morning?
I really like Private Eye, it's simple and funny but packed full of interesting tidbits and they do a good job of holding the great and not-so-good to account. That their circulation is going up proves that people still want great news content. The Sunday Times Magazine also looks very good at the moment.
What’s your favourite news source this morning?
Daily papers still do the best news reporting, in print and digital, but there are some great web-native publishers like Vocativ who are doing interesting stories as well as longform. The Memo is great for tech and business too.
How do you determine what the ‘best’ is for Swipe?
It certainly is subjective, and we look through enough stuff to put out 10 magazines every week. We choose articles for our millennial audience - it helps that we're also millennials, so we try and make the magazine we would want to read. The main criteria are whether it’s original, interesting, surprising and well written. We also talk about things being ‘clickable’ and ‘shareable’ - would you click on it to read it, and would you tell a friend about it?
Do you negotiate publication rights, or are you ‘reposting’ material? And do you commission additional photography and illustration as well?
We pay a 10p/15c relicensing fee per word printed. We get some pictures from agencies but lots of what we republish comes with original pictures too. We’re commissioning internet artist Jim’ll Paint It to do our next cover - he draws what people on social media request on Microsoft Paint.
What are you most looking forward to this week?
Finding that great bit of writing that makes me laugh out loud and putting it in the magazine.
What are you least looking forward to this week?
More interminable squabbling over the EU in the run up to the referendum. Our next edition comes out on the morning of the vote so we’ll be looking for stories that are more than dull internal Tory politics. The whole campaign has been such a turn off for young people. I just hope they still turn out to vote.
What will you be doing after this chat?
We’ll be having our Monday morning news meeting to compare notes on what we saw over the weekend and talk about which news stories we want articles on in the next edition.