Diver magazine is on the road to recovery. New owner RORK Media has launched a crowd-funding exercise that it hopes will allow the popular title to be resurrected as a high-spec quarterly publication – in both print and digital formats.
Your initial response has been gratifying, and thanks go to all those who quickly got behind reviving a title that had become part of many divers’ lives. With 47 days still to go to reach the £15,000 target needed to kick-start the project, 10% of that sum has already been pledged by 46 backers.
We’re looking to fund the first three issues, after which it’s hoped that Diver will be self-funding once more. And we have a clear vision for the revived title, one that echoes the publication’s deep roots in UK diving – but delivered in a style perfectly suited to the 2020s.
Britain’s oldest scuba publication, Diver established itself as a monthly back in the 1970s. Initially it was very much home-waters based but, as diving tourism grew, it increasingly reflected readers’ desire to enjoy the underwater world both in the UK and abroad.
It was also the first choice of the club divers who then dominated the UK scene, but by the 21st century Diver had grown fully independent, taking whichever directions its regular surveys suggested would most appeal to readers.
Its tagline was “straight down the line”, and those readers knew that Diver always put them first, from its objective destination reports to critical equipment reviews. And many still tell us that they miss regular features such as the celebrated Wreck Tours.
At the start of the Covid pandemic, advertising collapsed. With revenue limited, Diver managed to maintain its quality but in digital form only. Eventually the magazine reached the end of that line, however, with November 2021 its last monthly edition.
Soon afterwards Rork Media, publisher of Scuba Diver and other titles, stepped in to acquire the assets. It quickly revived the popular Divernet website and successfully combined the even longer-established Dive Shows with its own GO Diving Show at the NAEC, Coventry.
Into the future
Who needs magazines in the 2020s? We believe that scuba diving, one of the most visually exciting of pursuits, transfers perfectly to paper or a PC screen – open up a colourful feature spread, composed of thoughtfully placed images and a well-crafted story, and you should feel as if you’re along for the dive with the writer.
But besides features – and there will be many – quarterly Diver also promises news and gossip, dive-site reviews, wreck exploration, charter boats, personality interviews, tech and rec technique advice, photographer profiles, gear tests, overseas destination reports and, who knows, perhaps in time those Wreck Tours will ride again!
I edited Diver for 25 years, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know what our readers valued in a magazine. I believe we delivered, and in the process earned a great reputation not only in the UK but internationally. Now I’m hoping that, together, we can move on to the next phase.
There are six possible ways to help get Diver running again, including annual subscriptions – please check out the possibilities here, and let’s bring the title back bigger and better than ever!