Sunday, February 28, 2016

Quick points about magazines (relating to chapter 4 in our textbook)

More notes--for my MCOM 101 class at EHC--on magazines (SOME OF THIS MAY NOT BE IN CHAPTER 4, BUT IT’S STILL IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW). Be sure, too, that you've read closely my previous blog post (also dated Feb. 28) on magazines. This will help guide your study of this key branch of mass communication.

1. What is a magazine? 
A publication of lasting interest targeted at a specific audience. A collection of articles and photos.

2. The Saturday Evening Post
•First published in 1821
•First truly national medium
•Post remained important until the coming of television

3. 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.

4. Types of Magazines
•Consumer magazines. 
Publications targeting an audience of like-minded consumers
•Trade magazines
. Magazines published for people who work in an industry or business
•Literary magazines. 
Publications that focus on serious essays and short fiction

5. Literary and Commentary Magazines
•Atlantic, New Republic, Nation
. Serious publications with progressive orientation published since the 1800s.
•National Review
. Conservative response to New Republic and Nation by William F. Buckley.
. Published by NAACP to give voice to African Americans.

6. The Muckrakers
•Progressive investigative journalists writing in the late 1800s, early 1900s
--Popular reform-oriented muckraking magazine featuring work by Ida Tarbell.

7. 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.

8. Women’s Magazines
•Many of them tend to be Service magazines—about how to do things better, have better nutrition or health, improve your cooking, fashion, chances for employment
•FBL – Fashion, beauty, lifestyle. 
Vogue, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar
Global magazine for young women, focus on unmarried women

9. Men’s Magazines
•1933: Esquire
. Literature, pinups, and fashion for an intelligent readership.
•1953: Playboy. 
Pictures and a lifestyle.

10. Magazines and Body Image
•Critics charge that magazines and ads present excessively thin models.

11. Advertising vs. Editorial Control
•Conflict between advertising and editorial departments.
Magazines, models, and sponsors work together to match ads with stories about models and the products they endorse.
•Blurring of ads and editorial content
Ads can be made to look like magazine content.

12. 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 had featured only two women of color on the cover.
•But may be changing; teen music magazines often have non-whites on covers.

13. 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.


1. TRUE or FALSE? The Saturday Evening Post was the first magazine that reached a large public or wide national audience of readership.

2. What genre or category of magazines are published for people who work in a particular industry or business?

3. Who was the editor of The Crisis?
A. Langston Hughes
B. Booker T. Washington
C. Benjamin Harris
D. W.E.B. DuBois

4. Fashion and beauty magazines have taken criticism recently for their portrayal of what?

5. Name four magazines that are especially targeted for women.

6. If you wanted to be a writer for a magazine what department would you likely work in?

7. Name an example of a point-of-purchase magazine.

8. Name three magazines that are especially targeted for men.

9. True or False? By 2013, Wired was the number one digital magazine in America.

10. True or False? Each issue of a magazine, according to the Magazine Publishers Association, has at least four adult readers on average.

11. What kind audience was The Crisis (magazine) targeted for?

12. True or False? Benjamin Franklin published one of America’s first magazines.

13. What is Conde Nast?
A. Head of a multimedia corporation based in South Africa
B. Magazine publisher
C. CEO of Gannett Magazine
D. None of these choices

Here's a quick look at some of the world's most powerful and most famous photographs. Many, if not all of them, appeared in magazines:

Hello all in my MCOM 101 class at Emory & Henry College.

Hope you will learn a lot from your close reading of chapter 4 “Magazines: Targeting the Audience” (pp. 69-86) in our course textbook.

We will have a hands-on activity in our class focusing on this chapter. So pay close attention (as I like to reward folks who come to our class and participate).

Be sure, as you examine this chapter, that you remember what I share with you in class about professional opportunities in the magazine industry and about what direction the magazine industry seems to be headed, in terms of content and emphasis.

And bear in mind my advice on how to go about getting something you write or want to write or want to photograph published in a magazine. I will cite some of my personal experience in this regard to help benefit you.

The connection between advertisers or advertising and the editorial content of a magazine is extremely important.  Is that connection an unholy alliance? For example, imagine a magazine containing a full page ad extolling the benefits of a certain vodka.  Imagine, too, thumbing through that same magazine and finding an article, purporting to be truthful and fair or balanced, that focused on all the good things that can happen to you if you drink vodka.  Would that article/ad connection smack of an unholy alliance?

Know, too, the various kinds or categories of magazines and examples of each.  We will touch on this in class.

In addition, to help guide you in your study of magazines, be able to answer (on page 85) the five “Critical Questions.”

Other key terms/key points you should become thoroughly familiar with relative to this chapter are listed in blue under “Key Terms” on page 85. Be able to define or explain each of these terms.

In addition, you should also become conversant with the following terms or names associated with our study of magazines. I will try (time permitting) to make it a point to touch on these in class (but if I don’t, be sure to do some research and know how they relate to magazines).

personality profile
photo essay
investigative reporting
women’s mags.
men’s mags.
trade, technical and professional magazines
Consumer magazines
Company magazines
Ida Tarbell
Hugh Hefner
Henry Luce
Sara Josepha Hale
Company magazines
The New Yorker
Divisions or areas of work in magazines (see top left of page 78)
Point-of-purchase magazines
Idea of targeting for magazines
Pass-along readership
W.E.B. Du Bois
Demographics of magazine readership

What does it take to succeed in magazine portrait photography? Here's an instructive video:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Salute to Iowa

Hello everyone in the blogosphere.

Touching on a few random topics today.

First is my beloved Carolina Panthers. Here's a shout-out for their tremendous season (17-1) and for gaining a birth in Super Bowl 50. (I don't do Roman numerals).

Secondly, the day of all that caucusing in Iowa has finally arrived. All the prognosticators can rest (yeah, sure). The candidates can relax (won't happen). TV viewers, tired of all the debating and speeches and I'll do that or I'll do this, can sit back and see history unfold.

It all happens today and tonight in the Hawkeye State.

"Why Iowa?" someone asked me.

"Why not?" I replied.

Iowans are a smart, savvy breed. And they are tough. Have to be out there in the Midwest with those ferocious winters. (I know because I lived in Iowa about five years.)

My view of the candidates:

1. Hillary Clinton--slippery, deceptive, prickly, borderline arrogant. Needs to learn how to use email. Announced, via a scripted video, that she was running for president. Something fake about that.

2. Bernie Sanders--honest, sincere, frank, friendly (but is he a tad too old to be president?)

3. Martin O'Malley (not sure I'm spelling his name right)--polished and good speaker but doesn't stand a chance.

4. Donald Duck Trump (cause he ducked the last GOP debate)--extremely rich blowhard who claims to have all the answers.

5. Marco Rubio--charismatic and smart, but too scripted in his debating style.

6. Jeb Bush--could step in right now and do a good job as commander-in-chief. But many are tired of the Bushes. I feel sorry for him. Decent man.

7. John Kasich--stay still when you speak, John! Quit waving your arms. You are good, but you won't win the nomination.

8. Mike Huckabee--truly a good man. I believe he's a preacher? Too good to be president.

9. Rick Santorum--speaks well. Intelligent. Has a cool last name. But still a relative unknown on the national scale--even today.

10. Carly Fiorina--too strident. Could be the next CEO of Verizon. Needs to chill.

11. Ben Carson--blinks his eyes too often. Overly soft spoken, gentle and kind. Wants to be everyone's friend. Not working, Ben.

12. Chris Christie--Needs to BRIDGE the gap between being governor of N.J. and becoming GOP nominee for president of the U.S.

13. Ted Cruz--The smartest of all the candidates. Has a beautiful wife. Knows the Constitution (or says he does) backwards and forwards. But some claim nobody likes him in the U.S. Senate (where he represents Texas).

14. Rand Paul--I like him but he's never been able to "gain traction," as the pundits put it, in the GOP debates or elsewhere. Comes across as more professorial than the others. Is that good? Bad? I don't know.

Bottom line: Michelle Obama could beat any of them.

Also want to say a good word about an author I have just read. Her name is Adriana Trigiani. She wrote, among other books, Big Stone Gap and Big Cherry Holler. Words roll off her tongue (or through her fingers on a keyboard) like a warm rain soothing your soul. Recommend her strongly.

Finally, on a lighter note, here's a hot song from Darius Rucker. Turn sound up and enjoy!