In October, I wrote about the ending of Live Mag UK, the magazine (later online platform) that gave young people the chance to embrace their creativity and have a voice. Unfortunately, Live came to an end at Christmas, but something that has had a huge impact on the lives of so many young people deserves to be celebrated.
Live Mag UK was all about youth culture, created for young people by the young people. It provided invaluable journalism experience and opened doors to various avenues in the media industry.
I’m incredibly grateful to Live Mag for all they’ve done for me over the past year. Through Live, I’ve been able to develop as a writer and more than anything, embrace my love for American sports. Live gave me the opportunity to write about the trolling antics of Marshawn Lynch, Terry Crews’ response to the issues surrounding Ray Rice and domestic violence in the NFL, and the WNBA not getting the respect it deserves. I’m going to miss that.
What made Live truly special though, was the people — both the contributors or members of the Live team — so it was only right for me to get a little insight from some of them into their time at Live.
Today you’ll be getting some insight from my two editors during my time at Live, Frances and Cherokee. Both Frances and Cherokee made me feel comfortable, gave me the opportunities to write great stories and encouraged me in everything I do.
Frances can officially say that she was the last editor of Live Mag UK. She had been coming to Live “on and off for a while” before starting an internship at Livity (the company that owns Live), and then was made deputy-editor after six months.
And why did Frances come to Live? “It was quite simple really. I wanted to be a journalist and there was no one else offering journalism experience without having had any experience before (which is a problem that still frustrates me to this very day). It just seemed like an awesome opportunity to learn and get my CV packed out with experience.”
According to Frances, what makes Live so special is “the fact that you can walk through our doors with no experience and access so many great opportunities. It really is a great way to get your foot in the door if you’re interested in media…
“It’s also the fact that you can really be yourself. The fact that young people can use it as a platform to discuss the topics they are passionate about or that I can come in wearing a snapback when I’m having a bad hair day (almost every other day) is also really important. There’s not that many spaces left with that kind of freedom, you know, to play grime on full blast at the same time as doing your work, that’s really rare.”
Frances will most miss “the Live contributors or as I like to call them the squaaaaad”, but she’s got a final message for all of them: “I expect to hear big things coming from all of you guys in the near future! I expect you to do better than me, if this doesn’t happen I didn’t do my job properly…”
Before Frances, it was Cherokee who was editor of Live. She joined in January 2014 as part
of the team relaunching the magazine, which had been out of print for over a year with a site that hadn’t been updated for a long time. “The new team and I were tasked with gearing up for the reveal of Live’s digital-only space as well as learn the ropes of working on an online publication.”
Cherokee “stepped into the role of editor in August 2014” and says “there is too much (ironically) I learnt to put into words. The big thing for me, though, was self-belief. I know, I know, it sounds super cheesy, but when there isn’t anyone or anything else believing in the power of young people, there is Live.”
One of the things Cherokee misses about Live are the editorial meetings. “The passionate, heated debates that kicked off in editorial meetings, for me, was always a reminder of how wrong the stale opinion that ‘young people don’t care about anything’ is. It was also a space that showed Live at its best – young people, engaging with other young people (who they may not encounter in their day-to-day life) about things that mean a lot to them.”
Cherokee has a final message for Live as well. “Live is foremost a stepping stone. It was for me, as well as former editors, contributors and any other young person who worked on the magazine. This isn’t the end of your journey, nor should it be. An amazing thing is coming to a sad closure, yes, but you may very well be the person to continue the legacy of Live in a different way. It’s over, but not really – and that’s the exciting part.”
I’m going to miss Live, but it is definitely not the end of my journey. This was highlighted when Frances and Sonia presented me with the ‘Passion for Youth’ award during the surprise ‘Live Mag Awards’. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Come back in a few days to get the insight from some of Live’s contributors.