Indulge Magazine Editor-in-Cheif visits MLEC journalism students

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 0 Comments

Indulge Magazine Editor-in-Cheif visits MLEC journalism students
To entertain, to nourish, to pamper. Indulge Magazine fits its name. The Miami Herald’s luxury lifestyle magazine explores the culture, beauty, fashion and food in Miami. Evan Benn, the editor-in-chief, discussed the magazine, journalism and life in Miami.
“Miami is a rich, diverse place,” said Benn, who first lived and worked in Miami during his junior year of journalism school at Northwestern University, when he interned at The Miami Herald. “Everything that happens nationally has a Miami connection.”
Which is why everything at Indulge has a “focus on Miami.” Unlike similar publications, Benn strives to keep the content “really local,” focusing not only on celebrities and celebrity chefs, but also on less well known Miamians that are doing great creative work. Even writers and photographers are all local, ensuring that the voices telling these stories truly understand them.
“You have to know your audience,” he said. That means understanding the content, but also understanding the culture and feel of a place. Which is why Benn has worked to make the magazine more diverse and inclusive. “It’s something that I am very proud of.”
The pages in Indulge are colorful, bold and bright, just like the city it serves. Not only is that good for writers and photographers of color, but it is also good for business.
“When readers see people that look like themselves on the pages, they have an emotional response, they see themselves and they are more engaged,” explained Benn.
Benn has been telling stories since he became a student reporter in the eighth grade and loved the feeling of seeing his name on the by-line.
He loved going out “and talking to people who know more about (a topic) than I did, and then telling their stories.”
That’s what he did when he moved to St. Louis and covered the beer scene, something he knew little about. It’s also how he has approached every new story and adventure.
When he returned to Miami, he revamped The Miami Herald food section, moving from a weekly column to a full section filled with stories, reviews, recipes and photos. He also started telling stories in new ways, incorporating multimedia platforms and social media.
“Journalism changes over time…now we go out with iPhones and start blogging, tweeting, taking video on the spot,” he said.
That approach to telling stories and reaching audiences in new ways is what led him to Indulge. There, he created the magazine’s website, launched a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page and got each account verified. Benn is always looking for ways to expand readership, and to reach his audience where they are.
“The goal is to build readers for life,” and to do that, publications need to grow and evolve with their readers.
But that should not be scary to the newest generation of journalists. On the contrary. This, Benn said, means there are even more opportunities.
“There will always be stories to tell, and we will always need people to tell those stories.”
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