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 • 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 • 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.) • 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 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 • 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 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 • 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 • 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