I hadn’t heard about teen mag Vainquer until I read about it in the Sunday Times today, but this lad is going far. Congratulations to Kristiano Ang, who even has a Wikipedia entry about his magazine. I particularly like what he said in his Founder’s letter:
Vainquer Teens is an international magazine. Despite whatever criticism that might come to us for not focusing on a local context, let it be known that we have more than 5,000 online readers that reside in the United States alone. Vainquer Teens doesn’t seek to be a Singaporean entertainment magazine, it seeks to be a magazine that offers international youth perspectives, that entertains as much as inspires.
He is right not to focus on a local context, because the outreach would be extremely limited. Collaborations with youths around the world ensures a greater depth of perspective and variety in the style of writing.
As in any other context, once you strip away local ‘dialects’ (i.e. slang/content), a common language remains, and that is the essence of the matter. A great magazine will strike a common note with its intended readers, regardless of which country they’re from.
[ Side rant: I was concerned at how local teen blogs seemed to write only about exams, school, their friends and other issues without seeming to take an interest in the wider world around us. I also wondered how they could break out of the cultural/social/educational system which has perpetuated this mindset. These youths are our future. That’s why I’m so glad that one of our youths has done something different and brave. ]
For one so young, Kristiano is far more mature and enterprising than many of us, who are still afraid to step out from behind our desks and challenge the status quo.
[Update: Kristiano has emailed me. Everyone, let’s go to HMV or Borders to pick up a copy of his mag! ]