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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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The Power of Words and Images

development of a national culture
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”
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.
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.
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
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
the magazine business
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
women s magazines cont
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
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
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
magazines and modern society
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
Modern Ads Tackling the Body Image Issue:
      • Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign (2003)
      • Nike’s “Big Butts” and “Thunder Thighs” ads (2005)
  • Images of Reality:
      • We—intended for people with disabilities
      • Mamm—intended for women with cancer
      • Poz—intended for people who are HIV-positive
who s in control advertising versus editorial
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
Censorship and Teen Magazines:
    • in 1998 a New York school district removed Seventeen, Teen, and YM from the middle school library
    • concern over sex and health columns
the importance of magazine covers
The Importance of Magazine Covers

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.
covers and race
Covers and Race
  • 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
Coverlines—teaser headlines used to shock, intrigue, or titillate potential buyers
    • goal is to appeal to as many readers as possible
    • designed to grab attention
the future of magazines
The Future of Magazines
  • 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
Current trends in magazine publishing:
    • 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