A calendar always seems more enticing in January than at any other time of the year.
Beyond its roles as practical Christmas gift and personalized wall adornment, a new calendar offers a fresh look at the coming year uncluttered by appointments, meetings or other obligations. It contains only possibilities.
At Maclean’s, we see the coming year in exactly the same way: as a new opportunity to provide 12 more months of current affairs, politics, opinion and entertainment to readers across the country.
Certainly 2012 offered a remarkable array of news and events. There was the pageantry of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and the excitement of the London Summer Olympics. At home, divisions over resource politics and trade, ever-present economic worries and the formidable new leader of the federal NDP dominated the political landscape. The international arena saw continued upheaval in the Middle East, a horrific school shooting in Connecticut, a superstorm on the East Coast and a dramatic and consequential United States presidential election.
It was, in other words, another interesting year. And Maclean’s played a leading role in many of Canada’s biggest stories. Shortly after we gave readers an exclusive look at Omar Khadr’s interview with an American forensic psychiatrist (“The Secret Khadr File,” Oct. 1, 2012), the convicted terrorist was flown from Guantánamo Bay to Canada. Other media outlets specifically acknowledged our role in the timing of Khadr’s repatriation. Our inaugural Power List (“The 25 most important people in Ottawa,” Dec. 3, 2012), which named the real power brokers in and behind the federal government, set tongues to wagging throughout the capital.
And in Quebec, evidence uncovered at the Charbonneau inquiry revealed the deep and shocking vein of corruption running throughout the government in that province. This came as no surprise to Maclean’s readers, who will recall our early efforts to blow the whistle on Quebec’s corruption problem (“The Most Corrupt Province in Canada,” Oct. 4, 2010). For our trouble, we were publicly attacked by federal and provincial politicians.
Of course, making sense of a confusing and conflicted world is what quality journalism is all about. At Maclean’s, we’re proud to be entering our 108th year of providing Canadians with all the necessary information and unflinching analysis they need to understand the situation around them.
The media world is also changing rapidly, and the magazine along with it. Maclean’s released its first ebook in 2012—an in-depth look at Prime Minister Stephen Harper by political editor Paul Wells—and followed that with another dozen or so, on topics as diverse as the Shafia family murders, Scientology and the death of a Canadian mountain climber on Mt. Everest. (Of course, there’s also one of our most recent: humour columnist Scott Feschuk’s wry look at the holidays in all their absurdity.)
Finally, we expanded our digital magazine platform this year to include Android devices as well as iPads. We launched a new iPhone app that gives readers the full magazine plus online features and up-to-the-minute news from macleans.ca. For these and other efforts we won gold awards in news, social media and cross-platform programming at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards this past October, in addition to our gold and two silvers at the National Magazine Awards.
We’re gratified that readers have responded. Despite tough times for other media outlets, according to the respected Audit Bureau of Circulation, Maclean’s readership has been increasing. We now boast 2,474,000 total weekly readers; among the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that’s supposedly lost interest in conventional media, our readership has held steady at 25 per cent.
So what will 2013 hold? More of everything.
In Canada, the new year means a new leader for the federal Liberal party, a new governor of the Bank of Canada, a new premier in Ontario and a provincial election in British Columbia. We will also discover whether fallen high-tech darling RIM can turn itself around and whether we’ll see NHL hockey in the near future. Outside our borders, a fractured U.S. government will continue to struggle with its budget woes, Europe will face major issues of solidarity, Iran will continue trying to destabilize the Middle East and we’ll find out what happens to everyone else when China’s rapid growth slows down.
With the world in flux and full of contradictory arguments and thorny dilemmas, the need for top-notch writing, clear-headed observation and the ability to uncover what’s truly significant and noteworthy becomes more pressing than ever. Maclean’s continues to take this responsibility of high-quality journalism very seriously. In 2013 we’ll be offering more stories, more cutting-edge photography and more special editions on more platforms and devices than ever before. We hope you’ll make room for Maclean’s on your calendar in the new year.