YSFES Sage Magazine goes digital

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Photo by Joy Shan.

Publications by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies are gradually shifting towards online media, and the student-run SAGE Magazine is no exception.

SAGE Magazine, which publishes articles and artwork touching on current environmental issues today, launched its website on Oct. 14, a few weeks ahead of its intended release date. The magazine joins environment: YALE, another FES publication, in its recent transition to the online world, though SAGE plans to continue producing a print product while environment: YALE produced its final hard copy last spring. SAGE Magazine editors said the transition has helped them engage with their readers more easily, especially as they attempt to attract a wider audience.

Aaron Reuben FES ’12 and Michael Parks FES ’12, both editors-in-chief of SAGE Magazine, said the website’s space for comments on articles has already allowed readers to interact more easily with the publication.

“I feel like we’re actually starting some conversations, which is great,” said Parks.

SAGE Magazine, Reuben said, is continuously evolving, and its website is updated every other week as its writers produce new material. Both editors said they hope to leave behind a functional and sustainable website so future students can continue running the publication.

Ultimately, he added, he would like the magazine to appeal to members of the Yale and broader communities.

Though the magazine was created as a space to debate environmental topics, Reuben said SAGE Magazine aims to expand environmentalism beyond the “environmental elite” — people engaged in high-level discussions about such topics — and instead serve as an informative resource for students.

In pursuit of this goal, Reuben and Parks reached out to the Yale Journalism Initiative to attract contributing writers like Caitlin Cromwell ’14. Cromwell said Yale offers “countless” ways to pursue journalism and environmentalism on campus, but there are fewer options for those wishing to do both simultaneously. SAGE, she said, has given her the opportunity to write about relevant issues to a large audience.

Cromwell, who also attends the publication’s editorial group meetings, said getting to know graduate students is another advantage of writing for the magazine.

“I think that as undergrads, we often forget that we’re not the only ones here, and that in fact, there’s an enormous amount of incredible work being done on every level at Yale,” she said in an email. “I’ve loved remembering that.”

Reuben said another of his goals is to inject humor into SAGE Magazine, as past issues have done. Every few weeks, he said, an editors hold a “rabble-rousing meeting” which serve as a brainstorming session. About half of the ideas generated in these sessions are funny, said Reuben, who plans to create an Epic Sustainability Fail Blog showcasing unsuccessful results of sustainable project ideas.

Humor writing, Parks said, is difficult because of its “hit-or-miss” nature, but having a website allows editors to remove content that readers find less amusing. Since Reuben’s first goal is to make the magazine relevant to YSFES students, much of the humor pertains to environmental topics.

Founded in 2006 by FES students, SAGE Magazine is funded by the office of YSFES Dean Peter Crane.

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