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October 7, 2008
By Jon Fortenbury
Artemisia Magazine underwent more than just a name change when it switched to Insight Magazine. It altered its identity.
Beginning as a yearbook in 1899, Artemisia struggled through an identity crisis for most of its history. In the 1960s and 1970s, the publication evolved from a yearbook into a photo book. In the 1980s and 1990s, it returned back to a yearbook.
With an increasing student population, the yearbook format died out during the 2003-2004 school semester, when less than 1 percent of students purchased the books.
“Back in the 1960s, a yearbook did serve a purpose because you knew people in your classes,” said Clarissa Leon, editor in chief of Insight Magazine. “There were like maybe 50 people in the graduating class, so it was kind of similar to high school. But as a school grows, you can’t properly and appropriately serve a student body and have them be interested in that.”
Though the yearbook put Artemisia in negative figures, the publication refused to rest. The following year Artemisia became a photo magazine, releasing an issue twice a semester. That lasted until 2006. Artemisia then received a new editor that implemented stories into the publication, making it just a magazine.
“It was a really good start but the components of a magazine were not all there,” Leon said.
Upon becoming the editor of Insight Magazine this past summer, Leon pushed for a name change. A couple weeks prior to the release of the September 2008 issue, the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) Senate approved the new name, officially changing Artemisia Magazine into Insight Magazine.
“The reason why we wanted to be Insight instead of Artemisia is because you have this history of yearbooks and photo magazines with Artemisia,” Leon said. “The credibility wasn’t there (when we were Artemisia Magazine) and people didn’t really know who we were.”
Another reason exists for calling the publication Insight Magazine instead of another name. Though they presented other possibilities for names, Insight stood out because it compiles a bit of their old identity with their new identity.
“We were really a photo-driven magazine beforehand,” Leon said. “Everything that was good about the Artemisia was the photos mostly. The sight (in insight) is that we want to be really visual as well. The insight is that we want to gain a further understanding of the people on campus and in our community.”
With the name change, other adjustments to the magazine followed. Artemisia Magazine used to come out at random times but Insight Magazine will come out every month, except December and January. The stories and design also changed, which brought more money from advertisers in their first issue alone than they received last year.
“We changed it to a magazine but we also changed the internal structure to perform as a magazine,” Leon said.
Jon Fortenbury is a journalism major that writes for Digital Initiatives.