For the first installment of our Zed Talks series, we asked the Editor of Fieldsports Magazine, Marcus Janssen, a few questions about his role and his vision for the magazine in the years to come.
Have you made any changes to the magazine since taking over the editorship from Mike Barnes?
When I joined Fieldsports in 2011, I did so because it was my favourite magazine in our sector, reflecting my love of the countryside and my own keen interests in a wide range of country sports. So, in truth, since taking over the editorship almost two years ago, I have been conscious not to change too much; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Rather, I have focussed on maintaining the standards that were set by Mike Barnes.
Having said that, I am particularly passionate about my fly fishing and stalking, so I have attempted to bolster those areas of the magazine whilst maintaining Fieldsports’excellent reputation within the game shooting world. I have also introduced a number of new writers and photographers to our list of contributors, all of whom have brought something special to the magazine.
Mark Osborne of William Powell said that Fieldsports Magazine is “…in a league of its own.” How have you and your editorial team worked to achieve this?
I believe that the key to excelling at anything in life is passion, and Fieldsports has always been shaped by people who are genuinely passionate (some might say slightly obsessive!) about game shooting, fishing, stalking and hunting. I’m not just talking about our editorial staff – our contributors too. So, we have always strived to create a magazine for people like us, men and women who live and breathe their sport. Mark Osborne definitely falls into this category.
How has the rise of digital impacted the face of the magazine and fieldsports as a whole?
Although the digital world has, of course, changed the publishing industry in almost every conceivable way, I believe that there is still a place for big, luxurious, coffee table magazines like Fieldsports. Our hard copy sales over the past few years would suggest that I am not wrong. Having said that, it would be foolhardy to try to swim against the digital tide, so we have invested a great deal of time in developing an excellent digital product that is a pleasure to read on an iPad or other mobile device. We have also created a fantastic website that reflects the quality of the Fieldsports brand, and communication through social media has, of course, become a big part of our daily routine. We are very lucky to have a young, energetic and creative team here at Fieldsports who have embraced the challenges that our industry has faced in recent years.
What is your vision for Fieldsports Magazine over the next 5 years?
Mike Barnes’ philosophy has always been to produce the best quality magazine in our sector, so that will always be my primary aim, regardless of how advances in technology might affect the format and way in which our content is delivered. There will always be a market for outstanding writing and photography, so ensuring that we maintain our stable of world-class contributors, and continue to unearth undiscovered talent, will be key. As long as there are people out there who love their country pursuits, we will continue to do our best to inform, entertain and challenge them with outstanding writing and photography.