Magazine Journalism or Magazine Advertising?




People in the UK spend around £2 billion on magazine each year. 2.600 magazines are sold every minute of every day in the UK. Obviously, magazine is a popular media product in the UK. 

Magazine are generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles, and financed by advertising. 

However, there are some traditional criticism of magazines. In the first place, magazine is a commercial market driven for. It don’t just sell journalism to readers, but also sell readers to advertisers. 

In magazines, advertising could reach the target audience, educate them about their products or services, and move them closer to making a purchase. The whole idea of advertising in the magazines could sum up in one word: Image. Different from the limited space and certain page structure in the newspapers, it is possible for advertisers to print more complex layouts of their products. It could be reflect in one whole page with a full-colour and glossy format. 

In addition, most magazines have specific market demographics based on different location, occupation, age and gender. In this case, advertisers could choose the type of magazines which are related with their target consumers. For instance, the make up advertising will focus on female magazines.  

Magazine advertising is one of the most powerful marketing tools. Therefore, it is not a simple journalism product which could provide information for citizens to participate in democracy. To some extent, magazines are vehicles for consumer capitalism. It encourages lots of false needs.  

Furthermore, the feminist media theorists argue that magazines promote stereotypes. 

Women in magazine advertising are always presented as beautiful and sexy. The female models are all gorgeous.They dress well with expensive jewellery and perfect make up. They are looking good and charming in the advertising. Sometimes, people buy the magazine just for looking at advertising and try to change themselves as the model. 

Another representation of women is domestic. They are often described as housewife to stay at home. Their jobs are looking after kids, washing clothes and cleaning the house. Therefore, many advertisements related to foods, kitchen and bathroom staff could be seen in magazines. 


Take the In Style magazine advertising as an example. Only a Body, In Style.One of many gender stereotypes, this advertisement depicts women as mindless figures, present only for sexual display.  Her eyes and head are left out of the photo, thereby focusing attention on her sexuality. 

Nevertheless, people are not meant to be put into categories or definitions. Stereotypes limit human potential, individuality and creative thinking. 

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2 Responses to “Magazine Journalism or Magazine Advertising?”

  1. Ray Says:

    UK magazines are quite specified as long as the group of reader exists. Some magazines are very popular, some could be obscure. Appreciate your analysis.

    • yajiao Says:

      We can see many magazines specialized in one aspect in the UK media market, such as the Photography Magazine, the Garden Magazine and the Car Magazine, etc.

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