TOMORROW’S WORLD: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Futuristic subject settling for today’s back yard? Tim Forrest fails to be inspired

Glossy, informative, a compulsive flow of content - and this is just the media pack. The front cover looks good, too, pressing all the usual visual-interest buttons.

Glossy, informative, a compulsive flow of content - and this is

just the media pack. The front cover looks good, too, pressing all the

usual visual-interest buttons.

Tomorrow’s World is big, thick and luxuriant (and will need to be at

pounds 2.75 a copy), so the perceived value should be high. Each article

ends with a Web address, which hints at the readership base. However,

having read several pieces and duly noted them down, I began to wonder

why this pub-lication does not seek to exist solely as an online


The range of subjects is impressive and thought has gone into mixing

in-depth features, news and sound-bites with ’our expert panel’


However, depth is a relative term in magazine land, which leads me to

query who Tomorrow’s World is aimed at.

Those wanting academic coverage will probably read New Scientist, while

others will pick up scientific news in the national press. If, however,

you get off on all the latest gadgets, then I suspect you are already

reading Stuff or T3. But even those who watch the Tomorrow’s World

programme will not necessarily read this magazine.

The media pack maintains that the core readership will be ABC1 men with

families aged 25-44.

I can see the parent buying it, but I fear it will be their off-spring

who are ’expected’ to read it.

The most natural uptake would appear to be from sci-fi buffs and school


Given the potential of Tomorrow’s World for brand extensions through

technology exhibitions, school curriculum aids and online ventures, I

begin to wonder if this static publication isn’t a case of Tomorrow’s

World settling for today’s back yard.

I made it through the first third of the launch issue and then started

skimming; sliding at such a rate as to arrive several pages into a copy

of Punch before I could admit the diversion.

Having said all this, and given the success of BBC publications like Top

Gear and Good Food, it still makes perfect sense for the BBC to launch a

magazine on the back of an established television programme. In

comparison to its BBC stable mates, Tomorrow’s World’s circulation

targets are modest but without on-going support from the Tomorrow’s

World programme, this title is going to struggle


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