When I bought my ticket to Kathmandu several months ago, I knew I would be coming to Nepal for a job. Through some connections, I found a job working at an English-language monthly magazine based in Kathmandu. Despite the fact that I had secured my job long before I stepped on the plane to Asia, I still was not sure exactly what I would be doing. I vaguely had the idea that I would be “writing” and “editing.”
Even on the first day of my job as “Assistant Editor” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Four solid nine to five days into working and now I’m slowly starting to understand what my job entails. I shall now explain exactly what I have been doing, am expected to do and presume I will do for this period of employment.
As I mentioned, I am working at a Nepali-owned magazine that focuses on culture, people, customs, rituals, travels, religions, foods, etc… of Nepal. The magazine was originally aimed at expatriates living in Nepal, but the target audience has since shifted to the elite, urbanites of Nepal. “Urbanites of Kathmandu?” you may ask. Yes… Urbanites. They do exist in large numbers. The ads especially are aimed at a reader who is educated and has disposable income to spend on cigarettes, gyms, alcohol, clothes, etc… If I could compare it to another magazine at home, I would say it is like Portland Monthly.
As I also mentioned, I am the Assistant Editor. So far, my job entails a number of things and I have also been taking on extra duties in terms of their web presence. I edit and copy edit the articles that go in the magazine (along with one other person), I keep in contact with all the freelance writers (for example, I need to keep track of and keep organized what they are writing, which issue the story would fit in, what sort of subject matter they are best at covering, etc…), I (with the help of some others) make story plans for the magazine up to six months in advance, I keep in contact with the layout department, I write captions and pick pull quotes, I write anything that needs to be written (I went to an art gallery opening yesterday afternoon with one of the magazine’s photographers), I assign stories to in-house and freelance writers, and I am expected to contribute 5,000-6,000 words per month to the magazine. Phew. In addition to my editorial duties I am making a long plan on how to increase the magazine’s web presence and social media presence and I’m trying to figure out how the web site can become successful internationally. Phew again. These duties are not all 100% on my shoulders and I have other people on the team who I consult with about all of the above.
I am slowly learning everyone’s names and personalities at the office, which I am at from nine to five, six days per week (except when I go out on a writing assignment). I still don’t fully know what to expect out of this job, but I know I am in for quite a stint here in Kathmandu.