Topic 4: Magazines Origin
Topic 4: Magazines Origin MC 101-740
Popular in Mass Comm & Society
Popular in Journalism and Mass Communications
This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Destiny Giebe on Monday February 22, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to MC 101-740 at Southeast Missouri State University taught by Frederick Christopher Jones in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Mass Comm & Society in Journalism and Mass Communications at Southeast Missouri State University.
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Date Created: 02/22/16
Magazines: Origins Think about all the great things magazines do for you. They comfort you in the doctor's office while you're waiting for a flu shot. They brighten your day at the check-‐out line, entertaining you with stories about celebrity face -‐lifts and UFO sightings. But magazines haven't always been there for us. In fact, magazines are by far the youngest of all the print media. Magazines first appeared in 17th century France -‐ the term magazine comes from the French word “magasin”, which means storehouse. But unlike the colorful, entertaining magazines of today, these early magazines would simply reprint text (essays, literature) from other sources. No pictures, no color, no articles about the 50 sexiest people in the world. EARLY AMERICAN MAGAZINES The magazine industry in America was far from an instant success. Although magazines started appearing in the mid -‐ 18th century, there were still only 12 magazines operating by the year 1800. There were a few reasons behind this problem -‐ expensive postal costs, illiteracy -‐ but the main cause was the actual magazines. They were painfully dull -‐ and who wants to pay to be bored? You can do that for free. Eventually, publishers caught on -‐ there had to be a better approach. In the mid-‐19th century, magazines (like "Harper's New Monthly Magazine") began using illustrations to complement their articles. They started targeting specific groups (women, doctors, snooty rich people). Finally, magazines were gaining an audience. Towards the end of the 19th century, there were close to 5000 magazines in the United States. This growth came about for several reasons: • Postal Act of 1879 lowered rates -‐ making them affordable to the working class • Improvements in transportation and production technology • Magazines devoting more pages to advertisements • Wide ranging placement -‐ drugstores, supermarkets, etc. Magazines also found a new way to make profits. Publishers dropped the price of their magazine, charging less than it cost to make the magazine. Wait a second, companies actually losing money on each magazine they sell? Where's the sense in that? You probably guessed it. With lower costs, magazine circulation grew. As circulation grew, companies could charge more money for advertisements. This has become the standard approach for most magazines in the 21st century. First published in 1821, the The cover of an 1830 issue "Harper's New Monthly "Saturday Evening Post" "Ladies' Magazine" -‐ the firstMagazine" became one of the remains the longest running magazine for women. Not first magazines to heavily use magazine in U.S. history. exactly "Cosmo", is it? illustrations. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MODERN MAGAZINE The yellow journalists of the late 1800s, aside from the occasional fake story, did try to address many of society's problems. This mentality also rubbed off on the magazines of the era, as they wrote articles that attacked corruption in business and government. President Teddy Roosevelt -‐ worried that these reformers would turn our nation into a bunch of socialists -‐ referred to these reporters as muckrakers. Roosevelt didn't use this term adoringly, but the reporters loved the new label. One of the most famous examples of muckraking is the 1906 novel The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair (maybe you were forced to read this in 10th grade English). The novel is famous for its horrifying depiction of the meat packing industry. Here's an excerpt (if you ate hot dogs for lunch, you may not want to read this): "This floor was filthy, yet they set Antanas with his mop slopping the 'pickle' into a hole that connected with a sink, where it was caught and used over again forever; and if that were not enough, there was a trap in the pipe, where all the scraps of meat and odds and ends of refuse were caught, and every few days it was the old man's task to clean these out, and shovel their contents into one of the trucks with the rest of the meat!" The book caused such a sensation, that it led to major reforms in the industry -‐ and showed the world just how powerful the press could be. World War I effectively brought an end to the muckraking era -‐ and general-‐interest magazines started to grow in popularity. Magazines like "The Saturday Evening Post", "Reader's Digest" and "Life", featured stories on various topics that appealed to a diverse national audience. Photojournalism was one reason for the success of these magazines. With photojournalism, news is communicated entirely, or in part, by photographs. These pictures are often so striking and powerful, they leave a much deeper impression than any story could. Take for instance the terrorist attacks in Paris. Without seeing images of the events, it is difficult to understand the scope of that situation. Take some time to examine the photographs below -‐ the links will open a larger version of the image. What makes these pictures so effective? Vietnamese children run in terror after Babe Ruth -‐ near death and using a bat for Napalm was accidentally dropped on their balance -‐ saying goodbye to New York Yankee village. fans. American sailor kissing a nurse in A migrant worker with her Times Square -‐ celebrating the children -‐ without work after crops end of World War II. freeze in California.
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