Last Wednesday, the good people at That's Shanghai and Urban Family publications kindly invited contributors from Wellington’s pupil media platform, The Duke, to tour their headquarters. We walked around a cohesive, efficient office space and met dozens of employees, who had a lot to tell us about their respective responsibilities.
After the office tour, we were give the opportunity to engage in a lively and informative Q&A session with a few of the head members of staff. They explained to us the details of every stage in the publication process: from choosing themes to arranging the layout, editing content and finally obtaining and incorporating feedback before going to print. They educated us on the subtle art of composing attention-grabbing headlines and writing in inverted triangles (essentially, use your best stuff early on), and whether there is such a thing as overstepping when it comes to editing others’ work. This was all fascinating and extremely valuable information, not only because it came from seasoned professionals, but because it is highly relevant to our publication within Wellington.
As an aspiring journalist, this experience gave me a realistic perspective on the inner workings of the industry — and it’s only made it more attractive as a career path. For my peers who don’t have tunnel vision when it comes to future career choices, it made them seriously consider journalism, media and communications. The editors told us about their backgrounds and explained that a history major from England could end up as the editorial director of one of Shanghai’s most established magazines. The conversation made it clear that we can start at Point A and end up Point C, and it is not necessary to know exactly where either point is.
For now, we have a much better understanding of the handiwork woven within the pages of a magazine, and the knowledge will benefit us, and The Duke, considerably in the future. We’d like to sincerely thank That’s Shanghai and Urban Family for taking the time to speak with us; we will consider their words carefully and use our own wisely.
Written by Mia Wu and photos by Josh - Year 10 at Wellington College International Shanghai