Media Profile: The mag from the Ministry - Pauline Haldane, editor, Ministry

The Ministry Of Sound is a club with big ambitions. Ambitions, that is, that are way above and beyond most clubs and certainly beyond cramming a warehouse in South London with 5,000 clubbers every weekend. The club has a web site, a radio programme on Kiss 100 in London as well as Japan, Austria and a bundle of other countries. It has its own record label, a merchandise operation and, as of this week, its own magazine.

The Ministry Of Sound is a club with big ambitions. Ambitions, that

is, that are way above and beyond most clubs and certainly beyond

cramming a warehouse in South London with 5,000 clubbers every weekend.

The club has a web site, a radio programme on Kiss 100 in London as well

as Japan, Austria and a bundle of other countries. It has its own record

label, a merchandise operation and, as of this week, its own

magazine.



Pauline Haldane, who edits the eponymous Ministry, says the magazine is

designed to appeal to a mass market of clubbers rather than the

trainspotting DJ fanatics who buy Mixmag and Muzik.



’I’ve got nothing against those magazines and they do a brilliant job,

but when we were researching this we found that most clubbers were more

interested in the feeling of the whole clubbing experience than in the

beats per minute of a particular track.’



Thus Ministry - which has a cover price of pounds 2.40 and a print run

of 120,000 - is a lifestyle title, covering film, television, bands,

travel, drugs and, most importantly, sex. This is because the club knows

its market.



A survey published in the first issue shows clubbers’ interests. In

order, they are: sex, music, money, drink, clubbing, cigarettes and

drugs. Thus, there are features on legal highs, fashion shoots,

travelling to Amsterdam and interviews with Mark Lamarr, actor Mark

Wahlberg and DJs Pete Tong and Judge Jules. There is also quite a lot of

clubbing.



’The bones of the magazine is a monthly review of 100 clubs around the

country and each one will be rated or slated,’ explains Haldane.



’We’ve got a team of people who visit all these clubs for us and they

will report on everything from the door policy to the state of the

toilets.



We want this to be unbiased and we won’t be slagging off Ministry Of

Sound rivals like Cream every week. We want to give an honest picture of

the UK’s clubs.’



Because the magazine aims for the mass market of clubbers it aims to

feature mainstream house music clubs and acts quite prominently. The

more unusual drum and bass or big beat acts will get coverage, but not

as frequently.



Working out of the Ministry Of Sound offices is, as you’d expect, pretty

useful here. If the promotions team at the club have just signed up a DJ

to play there, the magazine has a pretty good chance of securing an

exclusive interview.



Haldane herself has a strong background in music journalism, which

nipped her first career choice as a war correspondent in the bud.

’Pretty much my first day on Jackie I realised I wasn’t going to make it

as the BBC’s war reporter,’ she admits.



’That’s what I’d wanted to be since was 11. I’d also like to be a travel

writer. In fact, that’s what I’ll do when I get old. Well, older.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1988

Pop editor, Jackie

1991

Assistant editor, TV Hits

1995

Projects editor, Attic Futura

1996

Editor-in-chief, Blah Blah Blah

1997

Editor, Ministry



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