With Mauritius and Madagascar, the Journal des Archipels has just arrived in Reunion. This new media is developed by Jacques Rombi, journalist for the regional economic press who has been roaming around Indianoceania for many years. He explains to us why he made the crazy bet to launch this magazine in the digital age. Excerpts
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Marseillais of origin, i came to the area the first time in 1985. In Reunion Island precisely because there was the only overseas university where I could continue my course in anthropology. Then I returned to take my master's degree in Aix en Provence. But the region that I had been able to visit in part (Madagascar and Mauritius) haunted me and I made the choice to go back there for a bit of adventure by 1989.
There I quickly worked in the press, time to learn the job and realize that salaried work was not for me. I then developed a prepress production agency in Reunion, then joined forces with magazine launches before committing to their international developments in the Indianoceania region : l’Eco Austral, a regional economic monthly that I developed in Madagascar and then in Mayotte (in association), then the Memento, another economic title that I also developed in association in Madagascar, Mayotte, the Comoros and Mauritius. Then return to Eco Austral to take over the regional management of the magazine in Mauritius in 2017.
Concerning my private life, I am married to Emmanuelle, indian ocean girl, we have a daughter Anaïs, born in Reunion in 1995.
What prompted you to create this Journal des Archipelagos ?
I think I have made the rounds of the classic economic press. In recent years I have noticed that we always take up the same subjects with the same people. We often do rewriting by updating the information a little. And then I was no longer in my place in this outdated economy that has had its day. Collectivism and then liberalism showed their limits by not respecting the social contract to which they had subscribed. Neither model has been able to equitably redistribute the wealth of labor, and we feel that new economic models are emerging. Another way, or third way would say the supporters of a more united and libertarian economy. All driven by an environmental awareness that leads to new rules and new tools such as sustainable production, Waste Management, new sources of energy ...
In short, a new economy which could perfectly develop in our islands which are like large laboratories where almost everything remains to be done.
We are in a relatively underpopulated region with immense potential.
In terms of new professions that are emerging, we can be role models in terms of natural resource management, sustainable and non-polluting energy production, maritime transport and regional planning but also at the level of social and cultural mixes…
Réunion and Mauritius excel in new technologies and start-ups, Madagascar is a real El Dorado (with all the good and bad sides that the myth he embodies). Mayotte and the Comoros, French-speaking and Muslim, could make the link between Indianoceania and East Africa…
So many assets that informed investors will be able to identify to help us in this new impetus of regional cooperation and find our place in the new world order..
It is in this spirit that the Journal des Archipels is positioned.
The first confinement between March and June 2020 gave me time to reflect on my past journey and especially the one that remains to be written. I started working on the business plan for this new medium and I resigned from Eco Austral last November to devote myself entirely to it..
Why this "circular economy and environment" positioning and especially why this crazy bet to launch a paper magazine today ?
It's true it sounds crazy, especially in the midst of a crisis, but I am not alone since I see that Grenadine and Gadiamb are also in full development.
Anyway, the circular economy, which can result in the new way of better exploiting our local resources and, if possible better exchange between our islands, must now guide our island economies, which are still dependent between 80 and 90 % external supplies according to the islands. This can not go on.
As for the environmental aspect, not only has it been close to my heart for a long time, especially with regard to the protection of the oceans, but it is above all the element with which we will have to reckon from now on for this new economic situation under construction.
About the paperweight, I don't think she's doomed. First, because the business press in particular targets a readership who loves paper. Nothing like a good magazine that you hold in your hand on weekends to unwind from the office and screens.
Then because there is a profusion of information (infox ?) on the Web. You have to decrypt without stopping, today the web press is a victim of its success and we feel its limits. When we take care to invest in the paperweight, we need to provide good controlled information, and if possible of quality.
However, we try with this magazine, to have a real interaction with digital media. Lots of files, too long to read and print are accessible on the site by scanning the QR Code "read more".
I specify here that the magazine is printed on FSC certified paper which participates in the renewal of forests.