Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Favorite Media: Magazines

By Gianna Pisano

Francis Bacon, a British philosopher, once said that the printing press changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world. In 1440, when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, he made it possible for knowledge and information to be mass produced for the first time in history. As a result, in 1663, one of the earliest forms of a magazine was created by Johann Rist, a German theologian and poet. It was called Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen, which means Edifying Monthly Discussions, and contained mostly scholarly articles and summarized books. It was very well received by young intellectuals of the time, and lasted for about five years.
A few years later, in 1672, a French writer and playwright, Jean Donneau de Vizé, produced the first amusement periodical in France named Le Mercure Galant. It included songs, news, gossip, and short poems, and was looked down upon by other writers for its lack of intellectual content. Nonetheless, it became very popular in France and was in publication for several years.

Beginning in the 1700s, magazines started to become more prominent across Europe, and in 1741, the first magazines were published in America. Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Bradford were Philadelphia publishers who owned rival newspapers and were competing to produce the first American magazine. Bradford produced his magazine three days before Franklin, but neither was particularly successful, with both only lasting a few months.
Despite this fact, however, magazines became very popular across America. By the early 1800s, nearly one hundred magazines were in publication in America with one of the most influential being Pennsylvania Magazine, edited by Thomas Paine.

As Americas magazine market began to grow increasingly popular by the late 1800s, special-interest magazines started getting created. Numerous magazines were published that were specialized for professionals, including artists, musicians, and lawyers.
Additionally, literary review magazines, which contained fiction stories and essays by the most well-known writers of the time period, became more desired. Starting in the 1900s, magazines that were focused upon aspects such as parenting, travel, and fashion began to be published, as well as magazines that were aimed at men, women, and teens. For example, Seventeen magazine was founded in 1944, and it was the first to be aimed solely at teenage girls. Today, the top five most popular magazines are all for a specific audience, being AARP, Game Informer, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, and National Geographic.

Magazines are my favorite media for numerous reasons. First, they have been around to provide people with news since the 1600s and I like seeing how they have evolved throughout time. I also like how, especially today, there are so many specialized types of magazines that I feel at least one type appeals to everyone. Finally, I feel like, among other forms of media, magazines have the ability to look into social issues and make them known to the public.
As for my favorite types of magazines, Im really into entertainment and fashion. I have a subscription to People, but I also love Elle, The Hollywood Reporter, Marie Claire, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly and InStyle, to name a few. I also like Time, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. The only downside to modern magazines I see are tabloid magazines, such as The National Enquirer, Star, InTouch, The Globe, etc. I feel that, too often, magazines like these provide a bad representation of magazines that inform the public of news they should know, or magazines that bring public issues into the spotlight.

Gianna Pisano is a freshman at St. Thomas Aquinas College. She loves to write and is majoring in Communications Arts and Journalism. Her dream job is to be an entertainment journalist or to write for an entertainment or fashion magazine, or to be an author.
Works Cited

"Google." Google. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.
"The History of Magazines." Magazines.com. 2014. Web.
"Top Five Magazines of 2015." Richlifestyles.com. 1 Sept. 2015. Web.

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