Magazines: The 1st
of the Specialized Media
*History *Industry *Controversies
The First Magazines
Appeared in Germany in 1663,
The first two magazines in America,
▪ Six months later both magazines had failed
By 1776, a hundred magazines had started and failed.
Ladies’ Magazine - special interest magazine
▪ Began publishing in 1828, under Sarah Josepha Hale
▪ Expanded/Focused on Women’s Interests, issues & rights
The first magazine to achieve a mass audience was
▪ The Saturday Evening Post.
1900’s - Magazines crusaded for
▪ social reform through investigative & watchdog journalism
▪ Magazines were effective in providing in-depth investigations.
▪ Attacked the monopolistic practices of Standard Oil
▪ Exposed municipal corruption in several cities.
Muckraking – Investigative Journalism –
▪ Articles led to child labor laws
▪ Workers compensation
▪ First congressional investigations.
Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906
▪ Passed because of the influence of muckraking reporting.
Mass Circulation Magazines
▪ The New Yorker,
▪ Pulps such as True Confessions.
▪ Featured brief versions of articles
The first news magazine was Time,
▪ Originated the terms “photojournalism,” and “photo essay.”
Golden age of photojournalism began in 1930s
▪ Lasted until general-interest magazines declined in the 1960’s
(What led to this decline?)
Adapting to New Media
Magazines adapted to competition from new media.
Magazines publish content on the Internet
▪ Cheaper - no paper, ink, or presses,
▪ No over runs, under runs or postal rates.
▪ Interactivity with readers is appealing to advertisers.
▪ Little advertising, smaller revenue
▪ Have been an important part of American culture.
▪ Any comic book readers in here? Which ones?
▪ Small, inexpensive publications - specific, usually obscure, topic.
Most Zines exist only on the Web.
▪ blogs are an online version of what Zines use to be.
▪ About 90% of US adults read 12 issues a month on average,
▪ More education/income means more magazines people read.
▪ More people than the original buyer/subscriber read them
Magazines help define standards of beauty/looks
▪ What are some of these standards are?
As magazines continue to promote these standards
▪ Women & Men can become unhappy with their bodies
Ideas about looks, appearance, beauty, etc.
▪ Are shaped by images portrayed in magazines
The powers of digital technology have
ignited a debate about the portrayal of