Magazine Journalism

Aims for the semester: 
  • Learn how magazines work
  • Learn how features within papers work
  • Explore the differences and similarities of papers and magazines 
  • Trends now/ future of the industry
  • Gain new contacts 
Assessment requirements: 
  • Interview with a editor (100 words). When organising this interview it is a good idea to have three back up editors. Aim for the most ambitious and interview an editor of a magazine that you love or would love to work at it. 
  • Confessional Interview for WINOL The Way It Is magazine (1500 words). A dramatic story where the interviewee will tell their story in first person, (I, I, I) written/edited in chronological order middle and interesting and exciting beginning and end. The most successful confessional interview with grab the viewer you within the first seconds of it started. 
  • A news feature on the industry (1000 words) Research is everything for this assessment. You can write about a magazine or an online publication. The key way is 'innovation' Something like the drone camera works well. 
We have got some great projects/assessments for this module, that will allow us to get creative and make more contacts in a different industry. 

The magazine module is led by feature writer Jacqui Thornton. She explained how lecturing to a big group is daunting and unnatural for her. The magazine industry its nothing like news where huge news teams gather together for meetings. Jacqui explained how magazines are the opposite on features there will only ever be a few staff writers. 

Jacqui's experience in the magazine industry has been interesting. She specialies in health writing and one of her biggest jobs was when she changed from writing for broadsheet to tabloid when she was appointed health writer for The Sun.

Freelance writing 
Jacqui Thornton now freelances for various publications. Writing for Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Health Service Journal and the Observer as well as other papers and magazines. 

Freelancing allows you to work from home but on the negative sides she explained how a job can arrive at any time of the day/night. Often you're left waiting months to hear back from an editor and most of the time ideas will be dismissed. But her top tips when freelancing is to always get a good brief from the editor.

Usually the 'lead time' (the amount of time and article took to publish from the initiation to the end) is around 3 months for a double page spread feature.

Always take into consideration how many people you will be interviewing for a feature especially when negotiating pay.

Contacts are everything when freelancing 

Brief History

 Gentleman's magazine in (1731) first ever publication to name itself a 'magazine' in the UK.

The Dress and Vanity Fair (1913) was the first women's magazine. Much like the ones that dominate now.  Last year the magazine celebration it's 100 year anniversary.

Vogue UK (1916) Vogue already existed in america at the time and the reason a vogue UK edition was created was because of the demand of the USA Vogue during WW2. The US version couldn't be shipped to the UK during the war so we just made our own!

Marie Claire (1988) this was a vibrant time for journalism. In 1986 The Independent was established. At it was something of a phenomenon. It featured spectacular photographs that made the paper stand out.
Marie Claire celebrated it's 25th birthday.

In the online era magazines have had to expand onto the online platform to engage with more readers.  Marie Claire did so but their figures weren't so promising with only 1,764 subscribers online, in the first half of 2013, compared to their readership of 230,973 in 2013. 

Interesting facts:

  • The newspaper industry is worth 2.2 billion in the UK
  • Tesco magazine overtook The Sun last year in terms of readership
  • The biggest selling magazines are the TV ones like TV Choice 
  • Moshi Monsters beat Vogue 

The money making factors in the magazine industry: 

  • Subscriptions 
  • Paid for/free ( Shortlist, Stylist, Timeout) 
  • Lead times 
  • Advertising. In 2007 Vogue ran 2,020 pages of advertising on average of £16,000 a page. 
The Future: 
  • iPad editions (already taken place but is this the new way to access our magazines? 
  • Make your own magazines
  • Flipboard- A personalised digital app. It's you choice, you choice what you what to read and then in a flipboard layout you see the things you want  to read. Flipboard aim for 150 million users. 
  • New Lauches e.g. Guardian Technology 
  • Online: Radio Times triples website traffic 

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