Early Magazines What is a magazine? A publication of lasting interest targeted at a specific audience. A collection of articles. 1704: Daniel Defoe founds The Review. Commonly considered the first magazine. 1740: Competition between Ben Franklin and Andrew Bradford to launch first American magazine. Bradford wins by three days.
The Saturday Evening Post First published in 1821 Contained essays, poetry, obituaries, and a column called “The Ladies’ Friend” First truly national medium Post remained important until the coming of television
Birth of Photojournalism Photographer Mathew Brady first became famous for portraits, Civil War photography team. By 1864, Harper’s Weekly was reproducing his team’s photos. Promoted idea that photographs could be published documents preserving history.
Types of Magazines Consumer magazinesPublications targeting an audience of like-minded consumers Trade magazinesMagazines published for people who work in an industry or business Literary magazinesPublications that focus on serious essays and short fiction
Literary and Commentary Magazines Atlantic, New Republic, NationSerious publications with progressive orientation published since the 1800s. National ReviewConservative response to New Republic and Nation by William F. Buckley. CrisisPublished by NAACP to give voice to African Americans.
The Muckrakers Progressive investigative journalists writing in the late 1800s, early 1900s McClure’sPopular reform-oriented muckraking magazine featuring work by Lincoln Steffens and Ida Tarbell.
Henry Luce & Birth of Time Life Luce developed idea of Time magazine in early 1920s to present the week’s news in context. Followed by Fortune covering business Life magazine presented the news through photos, featured work of Margaret Bourke-White.
Godey’s Lady’s Book Sarah Josepha Hale was editor from 1837 to 1877 Defined what women’s magazines would become Gave women a voice, professionalized magazine writing
Women’s Magazines Service magazines“Seven Sisters” and others, how to do things better. Health, cooking, employment, fashion FBL – Fashion, beauty, lifestyleVogue, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar CosmopolitanGlobal magazine for young women, focus on unmarried women
Men’s Magazines 1933: EsquireLiterature, pinups, and fashion for an intelligent readership. 1953: PlayboyPictures and a lifestyle. First issue featured a nude Marilyn Monroe centerfold. 1993: Maxim“Lad” magazine featuring sex, sports, and humor. Meeting the needs of the “inner guy.”
Magazines and Body Image Critics charge that magazines and ads present excessively thin models. Dove reacted in 2005 with “Campaign for Real Beauty” featuring models of a variety of sizes. Magazines now occasionally featuring “realistic-looking” women in photos. Controversy over the “Photoshopping” of a Kelly Clarkson cover for Self.
Advertising vs. Editorial Control Conflict between advertising and editorial departments. SynergyMagazines, models, and sponsors work together to match ads with stories about models and the products they endorse. Blurring of ads and editorial contentAds can be made to look like magazine content.
Dick Stolley’s Cover Rules 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 American magazines rarely feature non-whites on cover. In 2002, less than 20 percent of magazine covers featured people of color. As of 2009, Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has featured only two women of color on the cover. But may be changing; teen music magazines often have non-whites on covers.
Current Trends in Magazine Publishing Targeting narrower audiences. Presentation matters; layout and graphics critical. Articles are short; busy readers with short attention spans. Cross-media synergy; using magazines to support other channels of communication.