Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tina Brown: Fear for the future of the content, not just the medium

Tina Brown says our concern should not be just with the future of magazines or newspapers, but the future of journalistic integrity, which is increasingly diminished when content is free.  Brown spoke to Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal. Read it here.  

Magazine Ad Revenue Will Remain Dicey Even When Economy Rebounds

Ad age says magazines need to focus on "subs, apps, events and innovations" to be profitable in the future. Key points:

• ad pages in the monthlies in September were down 22 percent.

• this can't be blamed entirely on the recession.

• magazines can't depend on advertisers to return once the economy recovers.

readers still want magazines--more than 189 million U.S. adults read a magazine in the past 30 days, according to Mediamark Research and Intelligence. And consumers still trust magazine advertising more than advertising on the web, radio, or TV.

Read the entire article here.

Despite Recession, Foodies Love Their Magazine

Advertising Age says this about Food Network magazine: 

The popular cable network made a risky foray into publishing in 2009, the most challenging year the magazine industry has seen in decades, and came out swinging. Since switching from quarterly to every-other-month frequency in the spring, the title announced it will see its rate base expand from 400,000 at launch to 1 million by January 2010 -- some six months ahead of schedule, according to its publishers at Hearst.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Top 20 Magazine Websites

24/7 has done a list of the top 20 magazine websites.  Check it out here.  Their criteria:
The sites were rated “A” though “F” based on: 1) strength of content; 2) ease of use and navigation; 3) use of new technology and online tools including comment sections, message boards, and multimedia; 4) layout; 5) presence of a strong set of advertisers;  and 6) size of audience based on unique visitor data from June measurements by Compete.com.  Each listing shows Compete data for June 2009 and in brackets the figures for the same month a year ago. Some of these figures are likely to be affected because several of the magazines on the list, Time and Newsweek , share their content with news portals including CNN.com and MSNBC.com.  The traffic numbers may be skewed by that. Two organizations had more than one publication in the Top Twenty: AAA and AARP. The on-line publications owned by these organizations were grouped under their parent organizations.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Drake's Magazines Win More Awards

New awards for the talented Drake students in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's Magazine contest:

Think magazine won first place for general excellence; first place, design; and second place, editorial excellence.  Emma Barker was editor-in-chief. 

Drake Magazine won second place for design (junior Annie Fuhrman designed both Think and Drake Mag); third place, editorial; and third place, service article (by Tara Richards et al). Tara Richards was editor in chief.

DrakeMag Online won 2nd place for online magazines. Matt McGuire was online editor. 

I've included judges comments on the design award below.  I selected these to highlight because I love it when Drake magazines win both first and second places.

Single Issue of an Ongoing Magazine—Design 

Judge: Bob Gray, design consultant for aarp.org and former design editor at National 



First Place 


Why It Won: Great use of strong imagery along with a solid design brings Think up from 

last year’s second place to the winner’s spot. The results show the design team was 

thinking on many levels to meet the challenge of creating a controlled underlying structure 

that allowed them to orchestrate weighty and sobering stories in a surprising and visually 

engaging way.  


Use of provocative imagery with typographic design in a supporting role. 

Use of color-coding for organization of departments. Nicely sets them apart from 

the features.  

Controlled typography. Good, readable text type, but needed a little more attention 

to widows and character/word spacing when using justified setting.  

Effective use of the 7 5/8-inch x10-inch trim size especially with images.  

Use of infographics, sidebars, timelines as additional entry points throughout the 


Second Place 


Why It Won: Deft integration of engaging photography with creative typographic 

treatments kept me turning the pages. This magazine consistently makes the top three 

so I congratulate not only the students, but the program directors as well. The design is 

consistently well organized with good margin space, column widths and solid 

typesetting. The photography is well-played on the pages and the use of periodic design 

devices create a pleasing visual structure.  

Cover: Unfortunately the weakest component of this issue, though still following 

enough rules to stay solid. I wish the concept (which is good) had been further 


Front and Back of the Book: Strong, yet underplayed graphics help readers know 

where they are throughout the magazine. The controlled design allows for breakouts on 

departments without sacrificing consistency. Again, the conceptual photography and 

design solutions on are excellent.  


Concept, photography, design, white space, and color choice of “In Transition” 

feature. Beautiful! 

Contents page 

Design and photography in Spare Change department