Hoxton journo out to tackle real men’s issues with online mag

Louis Collenette

Louis Collenette - Credit: Archant

Unless you want to read about £2,000 watches, how to get a six pack or the top 10 bums in reality TV, there’s not much out there in the way of male publications. Until now.

Louis Collenette, a 25-year-old Hoxton journalist, is launching U-Zine, an online magazine to discuss real issues that men have to deal with, from mental health to sexual anxiety.

He first came up with the idea after writing a blog post about his own experiences with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and posting it on Facebook.

“I got a crazy response to that,” he said. “People I hadn’t seen since school were saying ‘I have had similar issues’. People I had never heard from were emailing me their life stories.

“It was fascinating and really showed how men have this tendency to keep their problems to themselves and suffer in silence.”

The idea for U-Zine was born, and Louis, of Hoxton Street, set about doing some research, asking his male friends where they go to read about serious issues affecting the 21st century man.

“I was asking them where they read their articles and quickly realised there wasn’t anywhere they knew of. Nuts magazine aren’t going to carry a delicate piece on men’s mental health, you know?

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“You’ve got the lads’ mags with their sports and women and stuff like GQ, which are more aspirational. There’s nothing in the middle for people like me. There’s a huge blind spot.”

Louis, who works for a Japanese newspaper, has had a positive response so far from everyone he’s approached, but needs help with the financial side of things so he can pay contributors for their time – and has launched a Kickstarter to raise £11,000.

He continued: “A lot of people in the media industry, particularly in Hackney, are doing unpaid internships or getting paid next to nothing. I don’t want to do that.

“All the women I’ve told about it say it’s really interesting, too. And to be fair, I’m always reading my girlfriend’s Cosmo when she’s in the shower.”

Louis is also keen to make U-Zine inclusive and move away from the heterosexual-orientated publications like FHM and GQ.

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