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The Nang! magazine logo
|Publisher||Tower Hamlets Summer Uni|
Nang! is a general interest magazine based in Aldgate, London. Aimed at 14-21 year olds, the magazine is free and is distributed at sixth forms, colleges, universities, libraries and Connexions centres in the London area on a quarterly basis. In December 2006, Nang! was presented with one of the prestigious Philip Lawrence Awards for services to the local community.
Nang! magazine was created in summer 2001 as a course on Tower Hamlets Summer University’s (THSU) summer courses. The course was completely funded by big businesses and other charitable organizations and featured a small group of aspiring journalists who came together to create a free magazine that would paint a positive picture of the youth in east London. Featuring local artists and celebrities, the magazine achieved a strong following in the Tower Hamlets borough. A professional journalist worked with the youngsters to create a magazine relevant to the youth in Tower Hamlets.
For the 2003 course, THSU brought freelance journalist, Adeline Iziren, on board. Iziren had previously worked on The Voice newspaper and was a regular contributor to the Education and Careers section in The Guardian. She had also had extensive experience in helping groups of young people to create their own magazine.
The magazine continued to grow and soon distribution increased to include the Hackney area and most of east London.
Following the release of the 2005 summer issue, THSU announced that it had secured funding to publish Nang! quarterly. The newly created team was made up of a combination of new faces from the 2005 issue and old faces from previous issues with Divina Glah as editor.
The first quarterly issue, published in January 2006, featured hip-hop magician, Dynamo, on the cover and included an interview with local MC, Professor Green, and a feature on Pride of Britain winner, Ashley Huxley. The magazine received positive reviews for its style and relevance to its audience.
The success of the Winter issue was outdone by the release of the hugely popular Spring 2006 issue. The issue featured a world exclusive interview with former England Head Coach, Sven-Göran Eriksson, just before the World Cup, as well as MOBO winner, Sway DaSafo.
Two more issues were released in 2006. The Summer issue featured interviews with rapper and beatboxer, Killa Kella, and X-Men star, Ian McKellen. This was followed by the Autumn/Winter issue featuring Eva Longoria.
In summer 2006, the decision was taken to revamp and re-launch the magazine to a smaller age range, whilst increasing distribution to include the whole of London. The revamped Autumn/Winter 2006 issue was released with Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives on the cover. For the first time, Nang! magazine contained paid advertisements signalling a move away from amateur journalism towards a professional youth magazine.
Despite the popularity of the magazine, its future was put in jeopardy by lack of funds for 2007. The Winter 2007 issue was cancelled and much of the team resigned due to the uncertainty. Six months later, the magazine returned with a new team and new look headed by former editor-in-chief, David Gordon.
2007 : Guardian Student Magazine of the Year Award
On 22 November 2007, Nang! magazine was given The Guardian Student Magazine of the Year award.
2007 : TalkTalk Innovation Award
2007 : BT Seen And Heard Award
Nang! magazine was rewarded for its positive image in East London by the BT Seen And Heard Awards.
2006 : Philip Lawrence Award
On 6 December 2006, Nang! magazine was presented with one of the Philip Lawrence Awards by Sir Trevor McDonald and the Home Secretary, John Reid, at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London. Created in memory of the murdered headteacher by his widow Frances Lawrence, the awards celebrate the achievements of youth groups and organizations in their local area. Nang! and seven other winners each received cheques worth £1,000.
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In 2007, the magazine sought to rebrand itself in order to increase its appeal. While more serious content, such as the Politics section, has been introduced, 2007 has seen an increase in celebrity features and fashion. Interviewees vary, from Michael Howard to Lethal Bizzle to the editor of The Times.
The re-designed website will be launched in September, the first of many new initiatives planned for late 2007 and 2008.
In January 2008, after leading the magazine to four awards in 12 months, the successful duo of editor-in-chief, David Gordon, and creative editor, Sanoobar Patel, left Nang! to pursue other projects. Assistant editor, Kamillia Kasbi, took charge. Her first issue is due in late April, early May.