‘I want good, tough stories about people and good things out there’

Kelsi Farrington

Martin Skelton owns Magazine Brighton, an independent shop that stocks Positive News. We ask him why he stepped away from a more conventional career to follow his passion for print

“I’m a print freak. I’ve always been interested in magazines. My mum tells me that when I was young and people would ask if I could come and play, I’d be lying on the floor reading. I’d say ‘not until I finish this article’. Three of us used to publish and sell a newspaper. It was probably terrible, but we were nine years old!”

There has to be something special about a magazine. If it’s special, people will search for it

Martin Skelton spent 20 years travelling the world as an education consultant but often returned from trips with a clutch of colourful independent magazines. When the time came for him to ‘retire’, he took an unconventional approach. He and his wife Jean opened Magazine Brighton two years ago “as a gift to ourselves after years of brutal work”. They have since tripled their stock of handpicked independent magazines. Each and every publication, including Positive News, has ‘sparked’ Martin in some way.

Martin Skelton in his shop in Brighton. Image: Khalid Ahmed

“I love digital, but when people come to stay, you can’t put an iPad on their pillow and say ‘you should read this tonight’.” An entrepreneur at heart, he relates to the hard toil involved in producing independent magazines. “I love that spirit. I love the independence and the willingness to take risks and see if people will buy it. There has to be something special about a magazine. If it’s special, people will search for it.”

When people come to stay, you can’t put an iPad on their pillow

So what was it about Positive News that resonated? “I like reading about people who are doing good things rather than shitty things: people who are helping others form communities or those who have resolved some sort of internal issue. That is why it’s so lovely to have Positive News in the shop. I get that life is tough, bad things often happen. But I don’t like just focusing on that. It’s the balance of things in life. I want good, tough stories about people and good things out there.”


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