The right to be wrong

Editorial from SNDS Magazine no. 3, 2013

“Take the date line off a newspaper and it becomes an exotic surrealist poem”
– Marshall McLuhan, 1970*

SNDSmag3-2013_coverWelcome to another issue of SNDS Magazine, the last before we all go wrong. The theme of this year’s SNDS conference is an easy target for all kinds of word puns – but this, we promise, will be our last.

Because it is, of course, the right thing to do – attending the annual conference, no matter what the theme might be. It’s the one chance every year to meet colleagues and friends, and a great opportunity to hear speakers from all over the world reveal some of their secrets, show their work or simply tell us all about their experiences. It’s also a way to get away from the daily routines and get new inspiration.

Exactly what kind of inspiration will you find in Copenhagen? Well, this magazine should give you a pretty good idea about that. We have the complete program ready for you, with time schedule and all (page 16–17), and we present some of the speakers who have been added to the list since our previous issue.

One of the main speakers will be Hugo Lindgren, editor of the New York Times Magazine, and with the magazine’s kind permission, we print his very personal essay about how it’s actually a good thing to be wrong, and why finding out that you’re wrong may take a little time. Hugo Lindgren once dreamed of a more artistic career, rather than appreciating “how naturally suited I am to the job I used to think I never wanted to have”. But the creative process is constantly present and reinforces his magazine work. Recalling the Canadian philosopher of communication theory Marshall McLuhan’s words quoted above, there’s a thin line between art and news. Read Lindgren’s thoughtful words on pages 6–9.

Another essay in the magazine follows similar thoughts. Kartin Hansen, webmaster and Chief Project Manager at Jyllands-Posten, believes that some of the problems facing the media business are caused by the fact that we think we’re in the – media business. And we’re not, says Hansen, we’re in the software business (page 22–23).

Both essays are valuable reading even if you are not attending the Wrong conference – as is some of the other great stuff. Edited especially for SNDS Magazine, we bring a very short extract of a paper about dynamic logos. Katja Bjarnov Lage, graphic designer MD and lecturer at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, has granted us a sneak peak into her master thesis just finished this spring. Things are changing rapidly – and the strategies for building and maintaining a company’s or organisation’s identity changes accordingly. One element is the way the static old logo, logotype, or nameplate is finding its new place in the world – and how it embraces new functions in the digital era (page 24–29).

Digital as it may be, the world is still very much depending on print in many shapes and forms. This is exactly the topic for the two new books we review on page 28–29. One celebrates the concept of the book, the other celebrates the prolonged life of newspapers – or rather, how your old newspaper can be reused for thousands of different purposes, once you have finished reading it.

Finally, we look at an example of a truely Nordic co-operation – the result of a seminar held at the Copenhagen Photo Festival. Essays, articles and photographic documentation has been collected in a book, nordic now!, published as a co-production by three photo magazines in Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The publication also looks into the discussion of photography as art or as a tool of journalism – which brings us right back to both Hugo Lind­gren’s thoughts and even McLuhan’s statement, from 1970, with which we opened this editorial.

We look forward to continue the discussion, as well as the Nordic co-operation – both on and on – but first of all: on the two eventful days of the Wrong conference.
See you in Copenhagen!

Lisbeth Tolstrup & Lars Pryds
Editors, SNDS Magazine

* McLuhan, Marshall: Views, in: The Listener 84, no. 2167 (8 October 1970). Reprinted in: McLuhan, Marshall and David Carson: The Book of Probes. (Gingko Press, 2003).

Click here to read: the the online version of SNDS Magazine 3, 2013


The M&M's of news design, Miranda Mulligan and Mark Porter, will be headmasters of a tablet school session at the Wrong conference. This spread in the magazine presents the project.
The M&M’s of news design, Miranda Mulligan and Mark Porter, will be headmasters of a tablet school session at the Wrong conference. This spread in the magazine presents the project.