About paulfcockburn

Edinburgh-based freelance magazine journalist, specialising in equality issues (disability and/or LGBT+), popular science, and arts & culture.

Author Archive | paulfcockburn


My Life in 5 Magazines: 2: Doctor Who Weekly

In October 1979, Britain’s favourite Time Lord gained their own comic for the first time. After four decades of uninterrupted publication, Doctor Who Magazine (DWM) continues to thrive… Issue 2: 12p (Cover-date: 24 October 1979)Publisher: Marvel Comics Ltd No-one who knows me well will be at all surprised to see a Doctor Who publication among […]

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My Life in Magazines: 1: Him Monthly

HIM Monthly Issue 55: 90p (Cover-date March 1983)Publisher: Millivres Ltd HIM Monthly, issue 55, was the first “gay magazine” I ever bought. Admittedly, it was several months old, and second hand, but it remained a genuinely life-changing conceptual breakthrough none-the-less. Weirdly, the overt “gayness” of HIM Monthly hadn’t really sunk in when I’d quickly flicked […]

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What’s in an  Name?

Apple presents its latest iPhone line-up. A sure sign that I’m something of an  GEEK  is that, three years ago, I wrote an ever-so-slightly portentous article on the company’s product naming strategy, and how I felt they could clarify, simplify and straighten out their various product lines—be they tablets, laptops, desktops or phones. Essentially, […]

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The Day Radio Times Changed…

50 years ago, on 4 September 1969, Radio Times underwent arguably one of the most radical relaunches in its history. The new-look Radio Times (right), contrasted with the previous week’s edition. The editor Geoffrey Cannon, appointed earlier that same year, was just 29-years-old—making him the then-youngest editor in the magazine’s history. According to Tony Currie, […]

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10 Things I Learned From Terrance Dicks

“Uncle” Terrance Dicks, on DVD or Blu-Ray. When you’re 84, a hashtag of your name on Twitter is seldom a good sign. So it proved today, as I caught up with the announcement of the death of the English television and book writer and editor Terrance Dicks. I’d only met him on three occasions, and […]

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Why Media Packs are Useful—for Freelancers

When researching magazines as potential markets for freelance journalism, nothing beats the detailed reading of as many issues as possible, to familiarise yourself with the available “slots” and – importantly – who writes them. (If the same bylines keep appearing in particular parts of the magazine, don’t initially waste time pitching those.) Readership details from […]

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15 Accessible Adventures

Trust properties across Scotland are more accessible than you might think. WORDS: PAUL F COCKBURN Barry Mill Dundee & Angusbarrywatermill@nts.org.uk; 01241 856761This working water-powered mill is a rare example of Scotland’s industrial heritage: according to reviewer EdinBlue, access is by a short pathway from the car park, although “if you can’t manage the incline you […]

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