June/July 1998

i n  p r i n t

with Scott Ruddick

In Review:
June's Print Offerings
and the Launching of Vent magazine

In The Buckle Of The Death Belt
J.D. Heiman
Swing Generation, June 1998

Brilliant, hardworking, and tough-minded, Byron Stevenson , a 38 year old lawyer, could be the darling of the corporate legal set. Yet, rather then commanding a five figure salary and a Manhattan office with a view, Stevenson toils, as he has for the past decade, in the dimmest domain of criminal law, acting as advocate for those convicted and sentenced to die for a capital crime. In this intriguing yet all-too short feature, Swing contributing editor Heiman profiles Stevenson, the director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Stevenson leads the fight to free the 161 condemned men and women lingering on that state's death row. It's a tough slot to fill. For his 14 hour, 6 day a week schedule, Stevenson takes home $25,000 a year -and, as Heiman shows, often the disdain and scorn of the death penalty advocates and victim's families.


One Digital Day
The editors
Fortune, June 8, 1998

Fortune took 100 photojournalists and set them out on what may seem like an impossible task: document the effect that microchips have had on human culture. The results are surprisingly good. In this issue's cover story, entitled One Digital Day, Fortune offers a pictorial slice of 24 hours across the globe. From photographs depicting a young Thai woman operating a computer with three robed Buddhist monks looking on; to a sporting event in Birmingham England where timing sensors built into to starting blocks ensuring a equal start; to Philadelphia fire fighters using infrared sensors built into their helmets to find downed victims in smoke-filled buildings, One Digital Day is a breathtaking excursion.


New Launching: Vent

Marta Limbaugh, wife of conservative talk show icon Rush Limbaugh, has launched a new magazine entitled, predictably, Vent.

It's tempting to dismiss this new publication as just another showcase for Rush Limbaugh's brand of small-c conservatism. But that isn't the case. With two issues to her credit, Marta has put together a well-fashioned and - difficult to do in the glutted mag market - unique publication.

An intriguing part of Vent is the reader interactivity. In conjunction with their web site ( www.ventmag.com, Vent features a story from the news media and invites reader feedback and commentary. A selection of these responses are then featured prominently in the magazine.

In this most recent edition, Vent offers an eclectic smattering of features and departments, obviously aimed at a broad cross-section of the reader market. There is a profile of The Conquerors, those daring souls who engage in what has become known as extreme sports. A how-to article offers the right way to end a relationship. And, In Mad Maxine, the potentially controversial subject of women rivers experiencing `road rage' is featured.

Vent still needs some work it make it fly. Like the spouse of it's publisher, it can at times take itself a bit seriously and lean towards moralizing, rather then reporting. But, I tend to see this as growing pains, a shaking out as the magazine establishes it's own distinct place in the market place. All in all, a good effort, Mrs. Rush.

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