(2000 words double spaced)
Use this statement – a paraphrase of IPC magazines’recent report to Time Warner shareholders, to consider the double life of magazines: their existence as commercial vehicles (with some important exceptions); and their simultaneous performance of the vital social role of mediation.
Illustrate your discussion by reference to five or more magazines from various historical periods, i.e. you should use historical examples as well as present-day titles. Please make full use of the essays published onMagLab: magazines under analysis. We’ve written these essays because we think they will help you.
Marks will be awarded for:
Demonstrable engagement with historical, theoretical and professional aspects of the module
Clear line of argument, well-supported
Correct grammar and good writing
Suggested Structure and Sources for CW1 Essay
Intro: words to the effect….
•Maximising advertising revenue is one purpose of magazines but not the only purpose
•Magazines live a dual life: they exist as commercial vehicles, operating within an advertising-led business model.
•But they also perform a social role: we have normally needed magazines to mediate (address and partially resolve) the contradictions in our lives
•This essay will look at both aspects of the dual life of the magazine
•Initially: magazines originated as projection of ethical/philosophical values; Addison etc not in it for the money values
•Gradually becoming more business-like, from Edward Cave to Charles Dickens
•George Newnes: develops and consolidates the commercial business model
•The model continues (McKay, Centaur report, BRAD)
•In context of advertising recession and the advent of digital, this model has now been called into question
•Mediation (enhanced): magazines addressing and partially, provisionally resolving paradox
•Offering readers a negotiated route through extremities (opposites) of their experience
•Different historical episodes in which various magazines performed this role in diverse ways
•Examples of magazines doing this today
•Many magazines now tending to perform banal mediation (mere intermediaries – magazines as muzak); but who needs a magazine which only does what its readers can do for themselves?
•How the two aspects of the dual life are sometimes comfortably co-exist, sometimes confront each other as opposites/enemie
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