The editor's note from Issue Twenty Seven
I was interviewed recently by an author writing an academic book on digital publishing. I’m not sure how useful I was: as ever with such things, I realise just how few grand theories I have, to what an extent the Blizzard was created by a series of small individual decisions without any great defining vision behind it, how we keep muddling through. The ambition of being a magazine that sets the text and the writer at its heart remains of course, and we still tend to judge things by how interesting we find them rather than by what traffic they may generate, but that’s a vague guiding principle; it’s not a fundamentalist dogma, nor could it be.
That, perhaps is a typically British way of doing things. We prefer to deal in the concrete not the abstract. We get things done without hampering ourselves with unhelpful adherence to doctrine. Or at least it was, before the present nonsense.
I was asked about our “internationalist” stance. I don’t think I gave a particularly good answer because, to be honest, the question surprised me. Are we internationalist? Well, we are, because football is internationalist. It would be absurd to limit our subject matter to England or Britain. And it would be equally absurd to use only British writers (I’d never considered this before but – I think; I haven’t asked – of the 22 writers in this issue, 11 are British, while 11 different nationalities are represented. Of the British writers, at least three don’t live in the UK).
But that wasn’t a conscious decision, not in the way we made conscious decisions about what paper to use, what colours we’d have on the website, how we’d set up the pricing structure. We’re internationalist because it never occurred to us to be anything else, because football is at least as globalised as any industry. When you’ve seen Sunderland fans waving Trinidad & Tobago flags to salute Dwight Yorke, Stern John and Carlos Edwards, and seen Gabon fans wearing Sunderland shirts to salute Didier Ndong, there’s really not much further you can go.
An interesting story is an interesting story whether it’s from Russia, Rwanda or Rotherham, and the best person to tell it may be a local with experience and in-depth knowledge, or it may be an outside with an objective eye. That seems so basic that it feels bizarre to call it a policy, let alone a principle.
Yet in the present climate, such a viewpoint comes to seem almost a political act. That was never intended but if that’s how it is, good, so be it. Here’s to internationalism.