On the last ever day that new media age exists as a website, Justin Pearse, editor of NMA from 2007 to July 2012, and Mike Nutley, editor-in-chief 2007-2011, return to reflect on their experience at the helm of one of the digital industry’s leading titles.
Justin Pearse was editor of new media age from 2007 to July 2012 and held various roles with the title from 2000.
I left NMA in July, after spending over 12 years serving at the title. It would have been impossible to stay over a decade working on a title covering any other industry. We were lucky though. The industry we covered – new media - moves so fast and evolves so quickly that NMA had to evolve at a similarly frantic rate.
In fact over the years, new media age became almost an entirely different magazine every year if not six months. We had to keep evolving as the internet kept creeping into new areas of human and business life, upsetting, revolutionising, and both destroying and giving birth to industries as it went.
It was always amusing to face a constant questioning about why we were still called new media age. Surely new media was no longer ‘new’!
My response, at any time over the years, was always that I could name at least five ‘new media’ technologies that were about to spark the latest disruption. Thankfully, I still can.
NMA was always far more than a magazine or a website or a conference or training or a party. And we had plenty of parties. It may sound stupid but it was always more than a publication, it was a lifestyle.
We had a VIP ticket to one of the most exciting industries there has ever been.
We were there at its birth and we lived alongside it as it grew up. We didn’t just report on the industry, we felt part of it.
It was because the title formed the backdrop to the digital adventures of the exciting, innovative, successful, crazy people who built the digital industry. I was incredibly proud to play my small part in all this and honoured to have been allowed along for the ride.
NMA was the time of my life as it was, I hope, for all those who read it and were part of it over the years.
Michael Nutley, editor of new media age from July 2000 to February 2007 and editor-in-chief from February 2007 to May 2011
One of the most surprising and humbling aspects of the 18 months since I left NMA has been hearing people say the magazine changed their lives.
For these people, the fact that NMA took the emerging world of digital media seriously acted as a validation of their own enthusiasm for the sector and their involvement in it, and helped to reassure them that they were on the right path.
Nowadays, when all the talk is of “digital first” and of being digital-centric, it’s hard to remember a time when interactive was a fledgling medium, struggling to establish itself on the crumbs left over from TV budgets. But all revolutions start small, and it was NMA’s role to report on and celebrate the pioneers, evangelists, mavericks and visionaries that made up the UK’s interactive media industry in its formative years.
I was involved with NMA from 2000 until 2011. I joined at the peak of the dotcom bubble and saw the sector through the dotcom crash, the slow recovery, and the long battle for mainstream acceptance. I witnessed a new industry being born, and was fortunate enough to meet some of the brilliant people who brought it into being. It was a privilege to have been part of that period.
But it’s worth remembering that, although interactive media has become commonplace in our lives, the internet revolution has barely begun. When I started on NMA, the world was divided into those who “got it” and those who didn’t. It still is, and “getting it” doesn’t come with life membership. We’re all still working out what this revolution means, one innovation at a time.