The Magazine Industry’s Top 5 Essay

The Magazine Industry’s Top 5 Essay

Length: 1292 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

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Magazines have been circulating since 1663 when the first magazine, Edifying Monthly Discussions appeared in Germany. This magazine would be called a literary journal today and was targeted toward an elite, literate audience. The three most influential literary journals in England in the early 18th century were Review, Tatler and Spectator. Ironically the first periodical to use the word magazine in its title was Gentleman’s Magazine in 1731, which was a predecessor to Reader’s Digest.
American magazines were slow to emerge, because people did not have the time to read them. People in the colonial days worked from sunup until sundown. The first magazine in America was the American Magazine, followed three days later by the General Magazine. Both of these magazines failed after short lives because they were expensive and magazines were seen as a luxury, while books and newspapers were necessities. Most of the early magazines plagiarized stories and essays from British publications, due to the absence of copyright laws back then.
Women’s magazines helped spark the growth of the magazine industry. The first women’s magazine ever published was Ladies’ Mercury, which was published in 1693, in London. The most successful early women’s magazine in the Unites States was Ladies’ Magazine, published in 1828. This magazine led to color animations and was the predecessor for other women’s magazines, such as Ladies’ Home Journal.
Another category of magazines are general interest magazines. The Saturday Evening Post, was the first magazine to achieve general interest and it became America’s longest-lived magazine. The Post’s success led to the golden age of magazines which ran from 1885 to 1905, where the number of published magazin...


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...ons in 21 languages. It has a global circulation of 17 million, making it the largest paid circulation magazine in the world. In addition, is also published in braille, digital, audio, and a version in large type called Reader's Digest Large Print. The magazine is compact, with its pages roughly half the size of most American magazines'.
I can not help but wonder why if these magazines are so popular in regards to circulation figures, are tabloids such as People and US Weekly more prevalent in everyday lives? When you go shopping and are ready to pay for your items do you see at least 10 different tabloid magazines and digests before the AARP magazine or those published by Jehovah’s Witnesses? Are pictures of Paris Hilton putting on weight over the weeks and Kim Kardashian’s new clothing item or “viral video” more important than aging advice and health insurance?

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