Friday, 15 January 2010

In the Editor's Chair - Mayah Riaz

Most magazines are either aimed at men or women but there are very few which cater for both markets. Hence why the magazine racks are full of your Grazias, Elles, Vogues and Cosmopolitans which are packed full of girly topics and on the other side of the racks are the likes of GQ, FHM and Loaded which are pure testosterone. Which is why the launch of DEEN magazine laat October was such a breath of fresh air. Covering everything from fashion, beauty, gadgets, fitness and motoring, DEEN magazine has a little bit of something for everyone. The publication was founded by 27 year old Mayah Riaz after she saw a gap in the market for a stylish magazine that both men and women could relate to.

How did you get into journalism?
It's not a popular answer, but I actually got into journalism by accident. I have always had a strong passion for writing but started pursuing teaching. I remember someone once telling me that careers weren’t for life, which always stuck in my head. So I had done a course in Journalism (as well as a BND in Business). I then started out working for a magazine and really enjoyed it, so that was the start of a career in journalism.

Describe the concept of Deen magazine.
DEEN is a lifestyle magazine aimed at men and women. It covers everything from health to hair, fashion to fitness, books to budgets and everything in between. It sort of has a little of everything. We are not politically or religiously biased. We don’t do fad diets or size zero and have more substance.

Who is behind Deen magazine?
DEEN magazine is my baby. I felt there was a gap in the magazine market and decided to narrow it.  I carried out extensive research to see what people really want from magazines. The majority of responses told me that people want a non gender specific magazine that covers a wider range of topics. This (amongst other things) is what I have set out to do.

How many members of staff work on the magazine?
We are a small, dedicated team. There are thirteen members and a lot more freelance/part time DEEN members who contribute greatly.

Describe a day in the life of Mayah Riaz.
There's no typical day for me. However, a very full on day would be a 5am wakeup call with breakfast meetings. Then discussing features for future issues with staff, a little bit of tweeting (which is becoming addictive), replying to emails and keeping my eyes open on current trends, organising things we have planned in the pipeline, catching up with staff. When I get home, the work continues from the sofa. I don’t switch off. However, a very chilled out day would be working from my PJ’s from the sofa watching daytime telly, catching a coffee with a colleague/friend, making a few phone calls to the team, a spot of shopping before finishing the day off with a homemade face mask.

Which blogs do you check out regularly?
I tend to check fashion and beauty blogs, a lot of them being small ones. 

What magazines do you read?
I am a huge fan of Look Magazine. I have more or less every single issue. I love the way Ali Hall (LOOK’s Editor) has made the publication much more about the fashion and beauty- with a hint of celeb news. You know it won’t be trashy. Look Magazine certainly has the correct formula for the ideal weekly – and all my friends love it for the same reason.

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
This job would not be possible without passion or drive. It’s this that keeps you going from day to night – and there are many nights where you are working, and not all those nights include going to top parties. During the deadline of issue one I was working for 30 hours straight and getting four hours sleep for two weeks. My staff did the same too. It’s important to get as much and as varied experience as possible, as this will set you apart from the rest. It’s also great if you have some work experience behind you so you know what is expected from you. I couldn’t have done this job without having great friends who do realise I may have to cancel plans last minute with them if something important comes up. 

The next issue of DEEN is out on 9th March.

You can follow Mayah on twitter here.

1 cool comments:

Tiffany said...

Never heard of this magazine thanks for the info.