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Module 12: Magazine Journalism

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Magazine Publications

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Magazine Journalism

Magazine Publications

Specialization of Magazines

Magazine editors found that by specializing they were also appealing to advertisers hoping to reach specific audiences.

Over the last century, magazines have slowly moved into more specialized, fragmented groupings. This transformation from general-interest to niche publications began with the popularization of television.

To survive the threat posed by the success of broadcast media, print publications worked to stand out by developing market niches.

Magazine Publications

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Trend

From the medical field to the auto industry, specialization has become necessary to compete in an ever-growing market. Yet the trend is perhaps most obvious in mass media and in the publishing industry in particular. “In 2006, the Magazine Publishers of America trade organization listed more than 40 special categories of consumer magazines.”

This wide variety of niche publications reflects the increasing specificity of markets and audiences. In publishing, demand for specialized magazines and books can be evidenced by looking at the magazine rack.

Magazine Publications

High-Circulation Magazines

Magazines have evolved significantly since their inception. Magazines have affected the world by bringing news, entertainment, literature, and photography to their readers. Additionally, the magazine industry has profoundly affected U.S. popular culture.

As magazines have developed over time, individual publications have targeted specific groups and found particular niches.

Reader’s Digest

Reader’s Digest

The top-10 highest circulating magazines in the United States differ greatly in style and audience. From National Geographic to Family Circle, the list demonstrates the wide pool of readers and interests attracted to the medium.

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Reader’s Digest

Reader’s Digest boasts the third-highest circulation among U.S. magazines. First published in 1922 as a “digest of condensed articles of topical interest and entertainment value taken from other periodicals,” this famous pocket-sized journal was first produced on a low budget by a husband and wife
team who believed the magazine would sell despite numerous rejections from magazine publishers.

They were right. Reader’s Digest was an almost immediate success and now regularly outsells competitors. The monthly magazine has subscribers around the globe and seeks to “create products that inform, enrich, entertain and inspire people of all ages and cultures around the world.”

Home Journal

Home Journal

Home Journal

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan

Women’s Magazines

Female readers have been important to the magazine industry, initially, because women were not traditionally part of the workforce and were believed to have more leisure time to read.

This lucrative market has only grown over time. In an increasingly online era, many magazines have sought ways to expand their scope to reach a larger audience. Yet others, such as Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Better Homes and Gardens, have maintained their original scope and have still managed to turn profits.

Magazine Publications

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Cosmopolitan

First published in 1886, the female-targeted Cosmopolitan has changed dramatically over time from its original intent of being a “first-class family magazine.” In the first issue, the editor told readers that “there will be a department devoted exclusively to the interests of women, with articles on fashions, on household decoration, on cooking, and the care and management of children, etc., also a department for the younger members of the family.”

The magazine became more successful during the 1960s when Helen Gurley Brown “transformed it from the family-focused publication it was to the somewhat controversial read with an emphasis on sex, work, and fashion that it is today.

Ladies Home Journal

Ladies’ Home Journal began in 1879 as a column for women published in the Tribune and Farmer newspaper. The wife of the publisher was not entirely impressed with her husband’s column and so began writing it herself. The column grew in popularity so rapidly that, by 1883, Louisa Knapp Curtis had published her first major supplement called the Ladies Home Journal and Practical Housekeeper.

Today, the publishers of the Ladies’ Home Journal state that it is “a unique lifestyle magazine dedicated to the millions of American women who want to look good, do good and feel great.”

Celebrity Magazines

Despite being criticized at times for their less-than-sophisticated approach to journalism, celebrity magazines bring in enormous profits and help shape U.S. pop culture, fueling the obsession some
Americans have with the mundane day-to-day details of the lives of celebrities.

Some of the most prominent celebrity magazines currently publishing are People, OK!, and Us Weekly.

Most celebrity magazines are known for there exclusive interviews, Hollywood gossip articles and celebrity photos.

Examples

Examples

Magazine Publications

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Examples

OK!, a British-run magazine that began publishing in 1993, OK! claims to “bring you the truth and the inside scoop about celebrities.”

People, sets itself apart from other celebrity gossip magazines by publishing human-interest stories alongside photos and articles about celebrities.

Us Weekly, has become a weekly leader in celebrity news and style. The
publication “delivers a mass audience of young, educated, and affluent adults who are compelled by breaking celebrity news, Hollywood style and the best in todays entertainment.”

Trade Publications

Nearly every trade group produces some sort of professional publication for its members.

Many trade organizations even have their own libraries that house and archive publications solely dedicated to their specific groups, these can then be used as reference and research material.

For Example

For Example

Magazine Publications

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For Example

If a person wishes to find information on agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting organizations, the US National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland, near Washington, DC, might offer a starting point.

This library is one of four national libraries of the United States and has one of the world’s largest agricultural information collections and links a nationwide network of state land-grant and US Department of Agriculture field libraries.


Scholarly Publications

Academic journals have, in some form, been around since the early years of magazine publication. During the 17th century, the Universal Historical Bibliothèque became the first journal to invite scholarly contributions.

Today, hundreds of scholarly journals exist, such as the American Economic Review, and every academic field has its own array of journals to which scholars can contribute.

Most libraries allow students and faculty access to journals via library databases.

Selective

Selective

Magazine Publications

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Selective

In every academic field, journals are ranked based on the types of articles they publish and on their selectiveness. Most academic journals use a peer-reviewing process to determine which articles are printed. During this process, a panel of readers reviews an anonymous article and then decides whether to
accept the paper, accept with changes, or reject it altogether.

Scholarly publication is essential for graduate students and university faculty members alike as they seek to disseminate their ideas and progress in their chosen careers.

Hobby and Interest

For Example

For Example

The most populated classification is that of hobby and special-interest magazines, a reflection of the wide array of hobbies and interests that different individuals enjoy.

Within this classification of journals, one can find magazines on such topics as sports (Sports Illustrated), wellness (Health), cooking (Bon Appétit), home decoration and renovation (This Old House), and travel and geography (National Geographic). Readers interested in specific hobbies can generally find a magazine that caters to them.

Magazine Publications

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For Example

Photographers can subscribe to the British Journal of Photography, the world’s longest-running photography magazine. This journal prints “profiles of emerging talent, a picture-led Portfolio section, business analysis and detailed technology reviews.”

Music enthusiasts can choose from an array of publications, such as Spin and the International Early Music Review to highly specific such as the Journal of the International Double Reed Society and Just Jazz Guitar.

There are also magazines devoted to crafting, such as Creating Keepsakes for scrapbook enthusiasts, and for pet ownership, such as the appropriately named Pet.

Periodicals

Periodicals

Periodicals

Entertainment Magazines

During the early years of motion pictures, magazines such as Photoplay, Picture Play, Movie Mirror, and Movieland began publication, offering subscribers behind-the-scenes glimpses of well-known films.

The success of the pulps encouraged another major transformation in mainstream journalism: the rise of
entertainment fan magazines.

Typically focused on television, film, and music, fan magazines emerged as national entertainment during the early part of the 20th century.

Magazine Publications

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Entertainment Periodicals

These types of periodicals were so successful that, as radio and television became popular, similar magazines came into existence to cover these new media. Television and radio focused magazines also provided weekly timetables of programs for their viewers and listeners.

Although the emphasis of the fan magazine has changed over the years, even today much of the magazine industry is dominated by entertainment publications, like Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and TV Guide.

In addition to providing entertainment news to readers, these publications are also useful to celebrities and media producers as a platform to market their new products.

Influence

Influence

Teen Magazines

During the 1940s, many publishers began pursuing teenagers, a previously ignored
demographic. Seventeen magazine hit shelves in 1944, setting the stage for later publications such as Tiger Beat and Teen People.

These magazines targeted young women, offering stories on fashion, makeup, celebrity news, and lifestyles.

Magazine Publications

Since their beginnings, teen magazines have kept their articles relatively brief, instead reaching their target audiences with bright and bold photos.

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Influence

Teen magazines influence popular culture not only through their reporting on celebrities, but also through their articles on celebrity fashion, which readers use to adopt fashion trends worn by celebrities. They are also useful marketing tools for celebrities and other media producers.

During their early years, most teen magazines sought out readers in their late teens, even offering articles on colleges. Today, however, to reach a wider audience, these same magazines intentionally target the preteen market by featuring younger actors and including more teenage celebrity gossip. In doing so, the magazine industry continues to influence younger and younger audiences, thus making a greater impact on popular culture.

End Of Unit