The New York Review of Magazines

The 48 Hour Magazine. Literally.

By Spencer Bailey

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that a group of magazine writers, editors, and art designers are putting together a magazine — the writing, the art, the production, the printing, plus a website — in a mere 48 hours this weekend. Yes, as in two days. The magazine’s apt title: 48 Hour Magazine. (Note: The title is not to be confused with the 1982 movie of the same name, starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte.) The group includes Sarah Rich, who was an editor at Dwell Magazine; Derek Powazek, the editor of Fray; Heather Champ, the former community director at Flickr; Dylan Fareed, a software designer; and Alexis Madrigal, a staff writer at And they’re taking submissions, too, so the issue could include you. (Submissions close at 4 p.m. Pacific time today.)

In an age in which print is continually competing with the ceaseless, up-to-the-minute content on the web, this will be an interesting project to watch. Will 48 Hour Magazine prove that print — all at once visceral, colorful, and glossy — can compete with the ever-so-timely nature of the web? That, no doubt, remains to be seen. But what it will do, I think, is show how the production of a magazine doesn’t need a month or even a week to be put together. All that’s necessary is an able staff, a bunch of contributors, and a couple of days.

Update: Read The San Francisco Chronicle’s Culture Blog for a full, in-depth story of how the magazine turned out. The Wall Street Journal’s technology and news blog, Digits, has an article about it, too.

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