Nicolas Magand on the internet

Comments about tech, media, nature, &c.

My name is Nicolas Magand and I live in Paris, France. I work as a social media and engagement editor at the Global Editors Network, a non-profit aimed at promoting innovation and sustainability in the news industry. Here I blog mostly about tech and media, but many other topics can face my enthusiasm.

Kara Swisher reigns supreme

One of my absolute role models, Kara Swisher, on Slate writing about her experiences of being a boss, and portraying the bosses she had during her career, including this one:

I’ve told this story before, but years later I ran into him, and he said, “Most people in this town stab you in the back, but you stabbed me in the front, and I appreciate that.” I said, “Anytime, you son of a bitch.” It was a great moment. I’m so glad he’s dead. Seriously, I’m glad he’s dead. He was a jackass. He deserved it.

After that, I had some great bosses at the Washington Post. I’ve mostly had male mentors and bosses, for some reason.

Unsurpringly, this article is a fantastic read, and — since it was published on October 11th — I took it as a great birthday present.

On the lack of diversity in newsrooms

Must-read from Jelani Cobb, on The Guardian:

The article represented not simply a case of a journalist missing a story. The story, to me, spoke to the problem of what happens when the demographics of the Times – and American newspapers in general – look nothing like the demographics of the communities they cover. The people who are most likely to appear in these kinds of stories are the least likely to have a say in how those stories are told.

The lack of diversity – all kinds of diversity – is not only a problem for newsrooms, it is a threat to good journalism.

On that topic, I remember a very interesting piece from Owen Jones, also published on The Guardian a few years ago:

More than half of the top 100 media professionals attended a fee-paying school, even though just 7% of Britons overall did; and 43% of newspaper columnists were educated in the private sector. This is not just an unjust waste of talent, leaving aspiring journalists from more humble backgrounds unable to pursue their dream. It helps to ensure that the media reflects the opinions, prejudices and priorities of a gilded elite.

I'm afraid this is not a UK-only issue.

How good is the new iPad Pro for photographers?

His work with the iPad was already mentioned briefly, but Austin Mann's full explanations, tips and details are worth the read. This part, among all the gorgeous photos of Iceland, caught my attention:

I was working with Mavic Pro 2 1  in the black volcanic deserts of south Iceland. While sitting in the car (in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere), I decided to offload my images and review them. I pulled out the iPad Pro and a card reader, and within only a few moments I was reviewing them on screen. Next thing I knew I was editing them with the Pencil in Lightroom CC and then I shared one with my wife—all within just a few moments.

It’s really easy to sit just about anywhere (even with a steering wheel in your face) and not just use it, but use it to its full extent.

This is precisely what is the most tempting aspect of the iPad: not only its ease of use, but the fact that you actually want to use it. On my MacBook Air, whenever I want to edit photographs, I know I have to sit down at my desk, open up the laptop, type in my password, launch Lightroom 2 , load the pictures, and then – only then – can I start editing them. The editing process is not that smooth either 3 . The iPad doesn't seem to suffer from any of this.

The Hasselblad I’m shooting with (H6D-100c) captures 100-megapixel images. Each RAW file is 216MB (about 7x the size of a RAW file from a Canon 5D MK IV). Needless to say, these files are HUGE and if the iPad Pro can handle them, it can handle virtually any RAW image.

Long story short, it performed extremely well.


  1. This is a drone model: I had to look it up myself. ↩︎

  2. Adobe, if you're reading this, you know Lightroom is 2008-slow: fix it. ↩︎

  3. I can't really blame my MacBook: it is an entry model from early 2015. It is not only too old for this, but never really built to be a champion at this. ↩︎

On blogging every single day

Austin Kleon, on his, well, blog:

I had forgotten how wonderful blogging is as a mode of thinking. Blogging is, for me, more about discovering what I have to say, and tweeting more about having a thought, then saying it the right way. It’s also great to be able to go as long or as short as you want to go.

He perfectly said what I think, so I simply quoted Kleon here, even if his quote explicitely is about discovering what you have to say and write it with your own words…

Since November 1st I do my best to update this blog every single day. It is not easy 1 . I spend a lot of time at work, I try to learn Russian a little every day, I walk, I sleep, and I try to relax a little also 2 . It doesn't leave much time for properly reading articles, let alone writing about the most intriguing ones I come across.

This excellent piece by Austin Kleon, A few notes on daily blogging, which I read at the time, was always in my head when I was thinking of doing the same. Not for traffic, not for recognition, but for myself. For the exercice of writing. I consider it like brain-gym. Writing is for me the best way to refine thoughts and see things in a better light, and I, too, have been pretty frutrated lately with social media and the overwhelming effects of the various timelines.

Hopefully I will manage to stay on schedule. Hopefully I will be proud of the links shared here, and the written comments left with them. My Instapaper list is filled with articles I read, or saved, and found interesting enough, and I can't wait to share it with you through a good old blog.


  1. And it only has been one week! ↩︎

  2. Usually it means watching a show on Netflix (Hilda is highly recommended by the way), or a movie on Canal+ (I log all the films I watch on Letterboxd and you should join and do the same). ↩︎

The effective use of satire for convincing an audience

Elisabeth Preston, writing on Undark:

Over a decade’s worth of research shows that while satire does carry some risks, it can be an effective tool for communication. Satire can capture people’s attention and make complex topics accessible to a wider audience. In some circumstances, it can even sway beliefs. If scientists want to communicate with the public about a serious subject, they might try a joke.

It is not only good news though:

But humor could also manipulate audiences in the opposite direction. “Comedy could just as easily be used to engage people with perspectives that misrepresent or undermine science,” [Lauren Feldman, a communication researcher] says.

Another risk: people might not get the joke.

You already know what I will say but yes, I think The Onion is doing an terrific job when it comes to satire: humourous pieces with a real message; my favourite category being American Voices, where they publish fake one-line opinions from the public regarding a very real issue.