Veronica Ridge is the editor and co-founder of Issimo Magazine – a finely crafted online publication covering the arts, culture and design with a constantly evolving web platform dedicated to innovation in digital journalism.
Veronica sees Issimo’s ongoing role as experimenting with formats offering fresh ways of storytelling (including variations on Snowfall and data journalism), and to search for a lucrative business model for digital publishing. It’s a big challenge as she is aware that a winning model will need to add value to the reader experience without intruding on it.
Her energy and vision has led to hands-on research and practice in areas not usually explored by journalists – product development, marketing and sales, partnerships and distribution, structure and organisational design, social media, simple software coding and, yes, she’s learned plenty of techno lingo and startup buzzwords along the way.
Before Issimo, Veronica worked at Fairfax Media for 25 years – the last 15 as a senior editor – where she honed her skills at creating and producing standout newspaper and magazine sections and articles while managing budgets and large teams.
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
Australia’s coffee, culture and design capital – Melbourne.
Who do you work for?
I happily work for myself. My goal is to develop a simple but viable digital platform for Australian journalists to leverage their skills while creating a livelihood in an era of extreme uncertainty.
Tell us a bit about you – How did you get to where you are today?
A passion for words, compelling newspaper pages and people led me a journalism cadetship as a teenager with Melbourne’s afternoon broadsheet The Herald (which later merged with The Sun). The rest is pure serendipity leading to The Age for more than two decades where I wrote and edited topics as diverse as education, news, property, the arts, literature, culture, architecture and design, food and wine.
What are your career highlights?
As entrepreneur: Founding my own digital publication Issimo Magazine in 2013.
As editor: Working for 25 years for The Age – one of the world’s most respected newspapers – where I was entrusted with the job of creating and producing standout sections and articles.
As writer: Winning the Paris-based gong of World’s Best Food Writer at the Le Cordon Bleu International awards in 2010 for a series of features published in The Age.
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
The challenge of inventing a viable future for Australian digital journalism. While the nation’s large media companies are constantly slashing the jobs and dreams of our workers, at Issimo we aim to find a way forward. The talent and energy of so many unemployed journalists is too precious to waste simply because there is no platform for them to shine.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
Those with stories of perseverance, creative genius and hard work who assemble a superstar team and then dare the world to stop them.
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
The story of Issimo’s challenges over the past year and our vision and determination to share the platform we have created.
Where can we find you?
LinkedIn: Veronica Ridge
Facebook: Issimo Magazine