a rack of popular magazines

Magazines uncovered Edit

Magazines are considered to be " the first of the specialized media" according to George Rodman, author of Mass Media in the Changing World.

They gave birth to the three stages of development, which consist of the "elite stage", the "popular stage", and the "specialized stage", which are important to this type of journalism because they are phases of the media evolution that helped this type of journalism make it to where it is today. The elite stage refers to the phase where only the high class citizens with the most education and the most money were allowed to use a particular type of media. The popular stage is where that form of media became available to a larger audience--to the average American. The specialized stages then refers to the stage of the media evol-


September issue of Vogue magazine

ution where it begins to break into specialized segments--for example, in magazines, when certain publications begin to develop magazines that reach out to a certain crowd of people, whether that be sports aficionados or people from a certain ethnic background.

This lead to the development of "specialized" and "general interest" magazines. The early specialized magazines did much of what today's Vogue or GQ do today. They targeted specific audiences who would be interested in a certain topic. In the 18th century many small, specialized publications were often based on religion or literature while today their topics range from focusing on sports, to speciality jobs, to hobbies,to parenting and to fashion.


Brad Pitt's cover of GQ

The Ladies' Home Journal was one of the first general interest magazines to become widely known in the United states during the mid- Eighteen hundreds. It was aimed at "specific readers with specific concerns and curiosities", according to Rodman. This publication was still considered special interest and it wasn't until the birth of the Saturday Evening Postthat a general interest magazine emerged.

Another important aspect of magazine journalism is "muckracking", which gained popularity in the early 20th century. This was the time when many magazine journalists wanted to write about social concerns, and reform. Muckracking was the good-natured attempt of journalists to uncover the truth behind certain areas of society, that would then lead to some sort of reform. This specific type of journalim is important to take note of because it lead to the passing of many important laws including ones involving workers' compensation and child labor. This type of journalism is still practiced today in many parts of the magazine industry.

Today's magazine journalismEdit

There has been so much change in the journalism world over the last decade, even over the past year. In today's society there is constantly. News that is easier to update and post on your blog online rather than in a one monthly published magazine. However, many still stand by magazine journalism and support its progression over the years and into the future. Today, the specialization of magazines is as important as ever. The people who are most likely to continue to buy magazines are usually the ones who have certain interests in unusual areas. Some enjoy fashion, which has dominated the magazine industry, while others look to buy magazines that detail the new products on the market for fly fishing, or the ups and downs of girl's softball.

In this area of magazine journalism it is crucial to recognize the different types of magazines that are on the market, including but not limited to, "trade magazines" which focus on specific business or industry, "public relations magazines" which focus on promoting the companies that own them, and "consumer magainzes" which advertise and publish reporst on certain products and their buyers.

These are just a few examples of specialized interest magazines that are popular today.

Other types of magazines now include "professional journals" which are usually published by professionals in the medical, law, or engineering fields, and "academic journals" which are made up of articles written by scholars in the academic field.

"Zines" are also a new form of magazine journalism. They are cheap to publish and are created by fans or supporters of any given, and specific topic. They have low production costs and are can be commonly found online.

Zines are just the tip of the online journalism iceberg, and may possibly lead to the unfortunate demise of published paper magazines which many readers have grown to love today.