The Eternal Flame enters magazine era

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Local News Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

Local News Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

The Eternal Flame is transforming its format from being the university’s annual black-and-white photo book into something much more suited for today’s audiences: a colored bi-annual magazine.

“I was inspired to change the format when I attended the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference last year and saw that very few universities around the state were using the traditional yearbook format,” Cara Acciaioli, The Eternal Flame editor, said.

The old photo book wasn’t very personal and mostly focused on organizations.

“Basically, it had photos of every organization on campus and a brief description about the organization,” Acciaioli said. “There wasn’t any personal information about individuals, and it highlighted the same things every year.”

The magazine is a product made from what interested the staff and is “feature heavy and not photo heavy” as Tori Stone, Eternal Flame graphic designer, said.

“We realized that a yearbook is an outdated format and not relatable to college kids,” Stone said. “I think it actually excites the staff, makes their job less redundant, and makes them write about what is interesting to them.”

Having more feature stories than photos in the magazine requires  different editing.

“Well, obviously, our responsibilities are going to be different with creating a magazine,” Jenna Harrison, Eternal Flame assistant editor, said. “We are editing more feature stories compared to editing stories for organizations.”

The magazine will not only change the way stories are written, but also the cost of production and purchase.

“The magazine is a lot cheaper for both the printing process and the consumer buying it,” Harrison said. “It has already gone to print and should be ready for purchase on Nov. 18.”

To change formats from photo book to magazine isn’t as easy.

“We prepared for the changes by contacting vendors, seeing what the cost difference might be and also researching different university magazines and finding a format we really liked,” Acciaioli said. “We also had to set up a new timeline because it’s bi-annual instead of annual like the yearbook was.”

Changing the Eternal Flame’s style also meant advertising differently for the new product.

“This semester, we advertised by making eye-catching posters and posting them in high-traffic areas,” Harrison said. “We have also worked at creating some buzz marketing. Talk spreads very quickly, and the radio has also been graciously talking about our new transition.”

The Eternal Flame’s success with the magazine look means a lot to the staff, according to Stone.

“I hope this is a success; our staff has poured a lot into this,” Stone said. “For the editorial staff, it is our baby. We have groomed and molded this into birth.”

As The Eternal Flame begins its magazine era, Acciaioli said she wants to showcase the amazing individuals on our campus.

“We want WT to feel united, and what better way to do that than get a deeper look into someone’s life without having to actually meet them in person,” Acciaioli said.

To get to know the people in the magazine, anyone can purchase it for $3. If you enjoy the magazine, Harrison gives instructions on how to join for the next publication.

“Anyone who is interested in writing and photography, you would really enjoy working with The Eternal Flame,” Harrison said. “Our stories are feature stories rather than news reporting. We are always looking for skilled writers.”