JOURNALIST Q&A: Jane Alexander

Don't confuse the new South magazine with older titles that focus on the region. In contrast to those magazines that focus on cuisine or how Southerners decorate their homes, South, as editor Jane Alexander tells it, is all about people.

Don't confuse the new South magazine with older titles that focus on the region. In contrast to those magazines that focus on cuisine or how Southerners decorate their homes, South, as editor Jane Alexander tells it, is all about people.

PRWeek: The magazine's motto is "Defining the Popular Culture." Where does that come from? Jane Alexander: From the first, we knew what we were trying to do: define the popular culture. So we went through several permutations and finally decided the best thing to do was just say what we were about. Hence, "Defining the Popular Culture." Our intention is to show what's hot, what's not, who's on top, who's winning, who's losing - trends, tips, and topics of conversation. PRWeek: What differentiates South from Southern Progress titles, like Southern Living? Alexander: While Southern Living, Southern Accents, and the like have done an excellent job of branding the South from a "shelter" perspective, there was no corresponding title about people - and the South is all about its people. When we looked on newsstands and asked ourselves, 'What kind of magazine would we like to read?', the answer was always a personalities-based publication. Look, the first thing that happens when two or more Southerners gather is they play Who Do You Know. We try to make connections. Our vision for South magazine is to be a way that Southerners connect to each other. PRWeek: It's hard to imagine a magazine about New England and the Mid-Atlantic States called "North." What is it about the region you cover that makes a magazine like South possible? Alexander: First of all, our research shows that the South has a distinctly regional quality that is stronger here than in other parts of the country. Even when a person from the South moves, he or she still identifies with being Southern. At the same time, the South is booming. It's growing more quickly than other regions, people are moving in, moving around, and wanting more than ever to feel like they belong. So our magazine helps Southerners, both new and old, connect. And though we can always spot differences among individual states, I still believe we're more alike than we are different. PRWeek: Now that you've got a couple issues under your belt, do you foresee making any changes to the magazine? Alexander: Well, a magazine in many ways is constantly evolving. As an editor, it's frankly hard to let an issue go, sometimes, because there is always something you would change. And after the first issue we tweaked the design a little bit to make it easier to read. But I am very happy with the product so far. It feels good to me. There's always room for improvement, and of course, I want my readers to tell me what they want. But I am proud of our magazine. ----- Name Jane Alexander Publication South magazine Title Editor Preferred contact method jalexander3@jam.rr.com Website southmagazine.com

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