Part 8 - Magazines

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 February, 2007, 12:00am

Magazines are usually published less frequently than newspapers and cover topics of a general interest, hobbies, health and beauty, or sports.

They may be geared to one part of the general population. Generally they will have lots of photographs and advertising. They may inform, but they are primarily intended to entertain.

A long history

The origin of the word 'magazine' appears as far back as 1575 in the form of 'magasin' meaning: a 'storehouse of information'

Find the meanings of words (in context) in green on this page. Answers on page 11

Think of a topic and you are sure to find a magazine to satisfy

Hong Kong is sometimes known as the magazine capital of the world. We apparently have an insatiable appetite for such products.

There are hundreds of magazines in Hong Kong. Look anywhere - at convenience stores, supermarkets, newspaper vendors or street hawkers. We must like them, because publishers keep printing them!


What is it about Hong Kong that makes us want lots of magazines?

List six reasons for magazine success in Hong Kong.

1. ____________________________________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________________________________

4. ____________________________________________________________________

5. ____________________________________________________________________

6. ____________________________________________________________________

The SCMP magazine division is a stand-alone (stand-uh-lone]) publishing business with five lifestyle titles - three women's titles and two men's titles. Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar and CosmoGirl! are Chinese-language editions of world-renowned publications circulated in Hong Kong.

Have you picked up your copy of Jiu Jik?

Jiu Jik is a Chinese-language magazine for young people travelling to and from work. It is exclusively distributed in MTR stations every Tuesday and Friday. It has a weekly circulation of 190,000 copies and has a potential audience of about 2.4 million readers.

Writing style

The writing in magazines is different from in newspapers. Magazines usually contain feature articles about an issue, person or event. The stories aim to entertain as well as inform. They are written mostly in narrative (nar-uh-tiv) style and tend to be longer than a general news story. Design elements play a big part in a magazine's overall look.

An example of a feature is a travel story which usually aims to attract people and make them visit a place, for example Uluru in Australia and the Great Wall outside Beijing (both pictured right).

To do

1. Choose a place: ______________________

2. Who might be interested in visiting this place: _________________

3. List five adjectives to describe the destination (eg. spectacular): _____________________________________________

4. List five nouns to inform readers (eg. views)________________________________

5. Give an overall description (eg. adventure trip): ______________________________

6. Suggested pictures in story: ____________________

7. Suggested people for quotes (eg. guide): ___________________

8. Colourful language (eg. 'takes your breath away') _________________

Other things to think about: how to get there, transport costs, accommodation, and remember to start your feature story with a gripping sentence.

Magazines are also about advertising

That's how the publishers can afford to print the magazines; the cover price usually isn't enough. Advertisers are also able to reach their intended audience or market quite successfully. Of course this depends on their advertising campaign and creativity.

To do

Choose an advertisement in a magazine that you perceive to be successful at attracting your attention.

Who is the advertiser? _____________________________________________________________________

What are they promoting? __________________________________________________________________

Who is their intended audience or reader? _____________________________________________________

What ages do you think they are targeting? ____________________________________________________

Where can you get their product? _____________________________________________________________

Why do you want their product? ______________________________________________________________

'Kids and youth' is one of the new target markets for magazine publishers

What magazines do you read? ______________________________

Why do you read it? _______________________________________

What are its best features? _________________________________

When is it published (eg. weekly)?___________________________

Where do you get it? ______________________________________

How much does it cost? ____________________________________


Do you think it is appropriate that young people are targeted as potential purchasers through magazine adverts by magazine publishers?

Covers of magazines are usually colourful and 'cool' - to attract your attention

To do:

- Design your own cover for a new magazine about your favourite hobby

- Use a computer program that specialises in graphics or sketch it by hand

- Think about the design elements: the font and font size, pictures, graphics, text and illustrations

Some of the best quotes come from magazines:

'Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one'

Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990), in Forbes magazine

'Some people make headlines while others make history'

Philip Elmer-DeWitt, in Time magazine

'Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten'

B. F. Skinner (1904-1990), New Scientist, May 21, 1964



periodical: a magazine or journal that is issued at regular intervals;

articles: non-fictional literary compositions that form an independent part of a publication;

subscription: a purchase made by signed order, as in a year's subscription to a magazine;

stand-alone: capable of operating independently;

narrative: the telling of a story