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Magazines. The Power of Words and Images . Development of a National Culture . Daniel Defoe: founded The Review , the first magazine in England, in 1704 looked just like the newspapers of the era covered public policy, literature, and morals Edward Cave

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Magazines

The Power of Words and Images


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Development of a National Culture

  • Daniel Defoe:

    • founded The Review, the first magazine in England, in 1704

    • looked just like the newspapers of the era

    • covered public policy, literature, and morals

  • Edward Cave

    • Gentleman’s Magazine, was the first publication to use word “magazine”


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  • Magazine—a periodical that contains articles of lasting interest:

    • targeted at a specific audience

    • derived income from advertising, subscriptions, and newsstand sales

    • intended for a broader geographic area than newspapers

    • increased as nationwide advertising grew in the nineteenth century.


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  • Colonial Magazines:

    • Publishers Andrew Bradford and Benjamin Franklin engaged in a 1740 battle over editor John Webbe.

    • Prior to 1800, magazines contained reprinted stories from colonial papers and British magazines, instead of original content.


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  • The Saturday Evening Post:

    • was first published on August 4, 1821

    • a year’s subscription cost two dollars

    • contained essays, poetry, obituaries, stories, and a column called “The Ladies’ Friend”

    • was the first truly national medium

    • had a circulation of more than 3 million in 1937

    • was unable to adapt and compete with television


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  • Photojournalism—the use of photographs to portray the news in print

    • Halftone—a process in which photographs are broken down into a series of dots that appear in shades of gray on the printed page

    • Mathew Brady—father of photojournalism:

      • Remembered for his pictures of the American Civil War, photographed from beginning to end

      • Brady and assistants were the first journalists to be “embedded”— with the Union army


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The Magazine Business

  • After the American civil war, magazines grew in popularity

  • Postal Act of 1879—allowed periodicals to be mailed easily and inexpensively

  • The Economics of Magazine Publishing:

    • Consumer magazines—publications targeted at an audience of like-minded consumers

      • in 2005—approximately 6,300 consumer magazines

      • most visible and profitable


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  • Trade magazines—published for people who work in a particular industry or business

    • smaller, less colorful, and more specialized

    • account for 17 percent of the industry’s revenue

  • Literary and commentary magazines—publications that focus on serious essays and short fiction:

    • examples are Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly

    • helped establish famous authors


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    • Political journals:

      • The Nation:

        • founded in 1865

        • discussed current affairs and civil rights.

    • The New Republic:

      • founded in 1914

      • promoted labor, civil rights, and antifascism

    • both featured letters from readers as an interactive forum for discussion

    • letters were central to the magazines’ content


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    • The Crisis:

      • started in 1910 by W. E. B. DuBois.

      • official voice of the NAACP.

      • provided an outlet for black authors to publish.

      • leading voice against segregation in the South, black education.

      • suspended publication in mid-1990s to develop a new focus after losing original purpose.


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    • Muckrakers—progressive investigative journalists who published in magazines in the early years of the twentieth century:

      • Mission to “Dig up dirt”

      • Samuel S. McClure:

        • sought to make a profit through the investigative articles he published in his magazine, McClure’s

    • Ida M. Tarbell:

      • reporter for McClure’s, investigated Standard Oil

      • five-year, fifteen-article series uncovered Standard Oil’s use of bribes, fraud, and violence


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    • News Magazines:

      • Time founded in 1923 by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden

        • presents both sides of a story

        • indicates which side the magazine thinks is correct

    • Luce started Life magazine in 1936

      • news through pictures

      • subscriptions skyrocketed

      • featured Margaret Bourke-White’s industrial photography

  • Luce started Sports Illustrated in 1954

    • currently sells 3.2 million copies a week


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    Women’s Magazines:

    • Began in 1830, when Louis Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book:

      • edited by Sarah Josepha Hale from 1837 to 1877

      • published and promoted women writers

      • promoted female causes


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    Women’s Magazines (cont.)

    • The Seven Sisters:

      • Service magazines—primarily contain articles advising how to do things in a better way

      • Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, Redbook, Ladies’Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens, and Family Circle

      • Reduced to six in 2001; McCall’s ceased publication, renamed Rosie

        • shut down in December 2002


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    • Fashion/Beauty/Lifestyle Magazines:

      • read by 40 million women every month

      • Vogue (1892) has long been the leading fashion magazine

      • Cosmopolitan

        • pioneering editor, Helen Gurley Brown, aimed to help the “mouseburgers”

        • current editor, Bonnie Fuller, focused on more serious issues

        • thirty-six international editions published


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    • Men’s Magazines:

      • Esquire

        • founded in 1933

        • published prominent writers

        • featured risqué pinups, considered a morale booster during World War II and the Korean conflict

    • Playboy

      • first appeared in 1953 as a competitor to Esquire

      • started by Hugh Hefner for less than $7,000

      • promoted the sexually free good life

  • Maxim—the rebirth of men’s magazines

    • launched in April 1997

    • offers a blend of sex, sports, and humor

    • tries to meet the needs of the “inner guy”

    • features short articles; attracts a great deal of fashion and gadget advertising


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    Magazines and Modern Society

    • Magazines and Body Image

      • in 1972, 23 percent of U.S. women dissatisfied with their overall appearance:

        • by 1996, grown to 48 percent

        • critics charge the ultra-thin models to blame

    • Mode, a fashion magazine targeted at women size 12 and above—the average-sized women

      • failed due to lack of advertisers


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  • Images of Reality:

    • We—intended for people with disabilities

    • Mamm—intended for women with cancer

    • Poz—intended for people who are HIV-positive


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    Who’s in Control? Advertising versus Editorial

    • Synergy and Magazines:

      • Models promoting their own interests and those of their sponsors

    • The Blurring of Advertising and Editorial Content

      • Advertorials—advertising material in magazines designed to look like editorial content rather than paid advertising

        • not always identified by magazines

        • used to promote favored advertisers


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    • Censorship and Teen Magazines: versus Editorial

      • in 1998 a New York school district removed Seventeen, Teen, and YM from the middle school library

      • concern over sex and health columns


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    The Importance of Magazine Covers versus Editorial

    Dick Stolley, founding editor of People, established the following rules for covers:

    • Young is better than old.

    • Pretty is better than ugly.

    • Rich is better than poor.

    • Music is better than movies

    • Movies are better than television.

    • Nothing is better than a dead celebrity.


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    Covers and Race versus Editorial

    • In 2002, less than 20 percent of magazines covers featured people of color.

    • Halle Berry:

      • featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan in December 2002

      • fifth black person on magazine’s cover since 1964

  • Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue:

    • as of 2006, has featured only one woman of color on the cover (Tyra Banks in1997)

  • O magazine always features Oprah Winfrey on the cover


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    • Coverlines versus Editorial—teaser headlines used to shock, intrigue, or titillate potential buyers

      • goal is to appeal to as many readers as possible

      • designed to grab attention


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    The Future of Magazines versus Editorial

    • Magazines for the Twenty-first Century

      • Leara D. Rhodes’ elements of successful magazines:

        • Building a relationship between the magazine and its readers

        • Providing information readers can’t easily find other places

        • Adapting to social changes

        • Being supported by advertisers

        • Adjusting to economic changes and limitations

        • Shaping public discourse by defining the major issues of society


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    • Current trends in magazine publishing: versus Editorial

      • magazines are targeting narrower audiences

      • presentation is important

      • articles are short

    • Cross-media Synergy

      • magazines complementing other media

        • example—ESPN and ESPN Magazine

    • Internet-exclusive magazines

      • few are successful (Salon and Slate)

      • magazines’ Web sites are popular


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