For immediate release
Blank GC, a grass-roots street press on the Gold Coast, surprised the media industry on Saturday night when it took out the big gong for 'Magazine of the Year' at the 2016 Gold Coast and Regional Media Awards (MACCAS).
On paper, one could perhaps understand the surprise, with its team of volunteers, no prior experience in cultural journalism or publishing and no financial backing when the magazine launched in December 2013 in print and online.
But, when you consider the impact and growth that Blank GC has had in just three years, the judges can be applauded for recognising the magazine's excellence in shaping the region’s identity, enhancing the sense of community and contributing to the success of local tourism and business.
"Three years on we still have a tiny team and no office! But that hasn't stopped us from growing to a print run of 10,000 copies a month with double the distribution between Byron Bay and Beenleigh and a strong brand that continues to grow," said founder and editor, Sam Morris.
Ms Morris said their growing success is in large part due to the magazine remaining fiercely independent and offering Gold Coasters a positive and fresh outlook on the City’s growing cultural heart.
"Blank Gold Coast gives a voice to creative workers, musicians, artists and entrepreneurs across the City. As well as our professional writers, we also have 132 volunteer writers who proudly use Blank GC as a playground to hone their craft. It's a thriving, committed community."
Not only has the magazine grown from 2,000 copies to ten per month and doubled its distribution, they've formed a number of initiatives and ground-breaking partnerships that have truly been a catalyst for driving cultural tourism for the Gold Coast.
In 2015, Blank GC launched the first Gold Coast Music Awards in twenty years and with its new Surfers Paradise Alliance partnership, the 2017 awards ceremony is set grow 1000% when it takes place on the beach with the Surfers Paradise LIVE festival featuring pop sensations, The Veronicas.
Blank GC has also been a strategic media partner for leading cultural events, including Bleach* Festival, SWELL Sculpture Festival, Gold Coast Film Festival, Gold Coast Open House and events outside of the city such as BIGSOUND – the southern hemisphere’s biggest international music event.
Ms Morris said the Award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the team's vision and dedication to creating a quality, community driven magazine that lives up to their mission of becoming the independent cultural voice of the Gold Coast.
The next issue of Blank GC hits the streets Thursday, 8 December.
Blank GC Fun Facts
- On 14 December 2013, Blank GC was officially off the ground when 153 people chipped in to reach a a Pozible crowd-funding goal of $10,000 (https://pozible.com/project/174163)
- Bobby Alu was on the first cover.
- Blank GC originally launched as a three-weekly magazine and switched to monthly as advertisers got confused!
- The mag is celebrating 3 years in print this December
- 233,000 unique visitors to blankgc.com.au
- 3,000 stories written
- 11,000 Facebook likes
- 132 writers
- 40 print issues
- 24,000 print readers
- 400 distribution outlets
- The Blank team are having their first month off ever from publishing this January (don't worry, they're putting out a bumper double edition for you!)