I finally got a copy of the slick new magazine “TimeOut Accra” and am still pondering about my reactions to it, and its content, and in some cases lack thereof.
On the surface, it is very slick, with high quality paper, printing and photographs. So kudos on that score for those who put it together, not exactly a mean feat in this environment. I am still a little unclear as to who its target audience is, and for what period. The TimeOut brand is an important part of the magazine, I suspect, and will no doubt attract readers and purchasers (though the copies I saw were in plastic bags – which I hate, as it doesn’t really allow for inshop browsing).
There is nothing that I can see that talks about its being the first issue, who is putting it together, and what it hopes to achieve. I guess I am wondering about the sustainability… and also whether it will just end up being another glossy magazine, not dissimilar to “EnjoyAccra”, which said it was trying to provide a monthly guide to what was going on in Accra, but ended up in my opinion with a focus on somewhat francophone aspects of Accra life, or rather those that could pay for articles. And this in my mind, without clear transparency. In other words a reader may not realise that an article was actually paid for, so essential is an advert for a company or organisation.
Getting back to “TimeOut Accra” – I felt the paragraphs on “Telephones” for instance were neither accurate nor up-to-date. There was mention of Westel, which is defunct, as a provider of landlines, while there was no mention of Vodafone which took over Ghana Telecom in 2008. Plus a reader would be under the impression that there was only one mobile provider, while in fact there are five, with another on the way. And MTN is not exactly the most reliable, even if it is the largest and does have the widest coverage.
I also wondered about inconsistencies in currencies. Why not give them in $ with Ghana cedis in parenthesis (where needed). For residents and regular visitors to Ghana the dollarisation of the economy is not news; but for a total newbie, all this could be confusing.
Another first impression was the lack of “more information” – as in books or guidebooks, DVDs or videos, websites, etc… I did like the pidgin buster, but would disagree about the word “cho” for food. As far as I know it is “chop”.