magazines

Why We OKC.

 Photo of the Oklahoma City skyline by our very own, Jonathan Burkhart

Photo of the Oklahoma City skyline by our very own, Jonathan Burkhart

It's a common misconception that Oklahoma is behind the times (sigh). 

However, many Okies know the REAL truth-OKC has been on the rise and is actually pretty fantastic. At High Five Media, we're proud of our capital city, which is why we're giving you five reasons you, too, should OKC (yep, it's a verb). 

Since its inception, Oklahoma has been the wonderers destination. It started with those wanting the rush of the open frontier, railroad men, and early 89ers, all determined dreamers, dead set on leaving their footprint in an unknown wilderness. Today, in the same vein of the fearless explorer, start ups, risk takers, and entrepreneurs are reclaiming a city.

The steadfast pioneer spirit embodies and new generation of visionaries, who are not only shifting the culture, but are making Oklahoma City cool, again. 

Oklahoma City’s reinvention of cool, most obviously starts with the injection of the Thunder. But let's be honest, the metro area circa 2007 was already a sports hotbed. The University of Oklahoma was and still is a big league with seven national titles, five Heisman winners, twenty-three Hall of Famers and the longest winning streak in D1 history, and we’re just talking football. Up north there’s the brightest orange with OSU boasting fifty-one total national titles, Mike Gundy, an Oklahoma native head coach that’s birthed a powerhouse program, and billionaire Boone Pickens, who makes us feel that half-time uniform changes are somewhere within the foreseeable future. Add in a professional basketball team and you've got yourself a sports utopia awesome enough to make a governor serve up a slathered up platter of ribs to any national sports analyst – oh wait, that’s already happened. 

Which brings me to scoot my chair right up to OKC’s ample food offerings. Steaks, BBQ, burgers, whatever your little foodie heart desires, the city has you covered. Just please remember to generously add Oklahoma’s own Head Country BBQ sauce. When it’s not your cheat day, OKC has an amazingly progressive healthy food movement. Zoë’s Kitchen, All About Cha, Cafe 7, and Cool Greens are unanimous favorites because they strive to bring patrons into a healthy lifestyle community. 

Community is everywhere within this city. The Plaza District, The Paseo, and Midtown neighborhoods are products of OKC’s Renaissance. Millennial owned art galleries, storefronts, and restaurants now line these once dicey streets. This is where art and innovation converge and the new age pioneer’s roots run deep. 

Capital is increasingly generated, and the coolest thing about OKC is that Oklahomans give back. There is a certain standard in our state and it’s one that never hesitates to take care of our own. During challenges of catastrophe, natural disaster, or a mere case of someone down on their luck our citizens are always willing to give--Oklahoma continues to reign in the top ten most charitable states in the nation

We know that outsiders think first our tragedies and secondly the misconceived lack of culture; however, I truly believe OKC residents are the absolute definition of resiliency and innovation. So last but certainly not least, the pinnacle of cool in OKC is the Memorial Marathon. Coined A Race to Remember because of the 168 we will never forget, the Memorial Marathon is one of the United States' top 10 marathons. Similar to Oklahoma City itself, participating in such a worthy cause only gets better with every year that passes.

A Magazine Resurrection

We're pleased as punch that our Linked Magazine editor, Meg, decided to grace us with her blogging presence with this little entry on why magazines are still relevant. It's a resurrection just in time for Halloween. Enjoy!

Every writer is also an avid reader and a critical thinker.

We inhabit a space that's hard to describe unless you've been there - in which case, no explanation is needed. We always set out to keep ourselves out of a story, and we inevitably either draw on some personal experience to give depth to a piece, or become so personally touched by the subject of our writing that we leave a bit of ourselves in it. Writing is hard. It’s a constant state of self-examination and self-evaluation. Every comma becomes personal; every line as much art to us as the stroke of a brush to the painter or the contouring of a shape to a sculptor. Fortunately, professional writers (a category I find myself in, incidentally) have thick skins. So after we craft our art, we cut and edit it. We try to surgically remove our bias from our writing. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes you really think that last sentence shouldn't have been cut, but you hit publish (or send to the printers) and hope for the best.

Years ago, if you had told me that I would be at the helm of six magazines by the age of 24, I would have laughed. Magazines were declared a “dying” form of journalism so long ago, it's hard to see how they aren't already dead. Except, they aren't dying. That’s never been the case. They’re changing and adapting, and technology has allowed writers to connect with audiences on a much more intimate level than ever before. We can reach more people and get feedback in real-time after our magazines hit doorsteps. 

Dying? No. Evolving? Absolutely.

So before you discount long-form journalism, remember everything is cyclical. We live in an age where more young people choose to scroll through pictures on instagram than read the words in Facebook statuses, and where folks get their news in 140-character snippets from Twitter. But even now, it looks like that 140-character limit may increase. Buzzfeed has reinvested in longform journalism, and most comprehensive journalistic work in the world is being done for newspapers and magazines - articles measured in pages, not characters. Magazines matter just like stories matter. They connect us; they remind us why we cared in the first place. Linked Magazines are hyper-local. Our goal is to connect people by telling stories about the people and places around them. By covering stories in communities around the metro that aren’t being told elsewhere and by highlighting people and groups doing good—real good for people you know (or should know, if you’re new), we’re helping communities connect and grow.  

Magazines do a better job at this than any other form of media out there. They have staying power and allow us to spend more time with our subjects. When I’m writing a story, I don’t have to worry about hashtags or SEO. I’m focused on you, the reader. I’m focused on delivering you beautiful photos and stories to match. I’m I'm focused on sending you a magazine you'll pick up and read. I’m focused on your community, your story and your world.

What do you think about magazines? Do you enjoy long-form journalism?