WRITING FOR MAGAZINES
The Navy story can take many forms. All must be
considered, and each, depending on the nature of the
material to be presented, should be used.
One of these forms is the magazine. Too often
overlooked by Navy journalists, this medium offers a
ready market for virtually any subject one might
consider. Since magazines cater to the tastes,
temperaments and interests of specific groups, they
offer an excellent medium for you to reach exactly the
audiences you desire.
These groups, with their special identified interests,
provide a possible readership for many stories that have
little or no appeal to the general public. An editor for the
Washington Post would have extreme difficulty finding
any news value in a story about a San Diego-based sailor
from Cleveland who collects coins. The editor of the
Numismatic News, on the other hand, would welcome
such an article and is even prepared to pay for it. The
point is that the Navy story has many facets. Some are
of interest to virtually everyone, some to relatively few.
Whatever the case, all the stories should be told using
the medium most appropriate for a particular story. Just
for some magazine.
remember almost every story idea, even one
conceived with another medium in mind, is also right
This chapter acquaints you with the various types
of magazines and magazine articles. It also introduces
you to the composition and styles of magazine articles.
Finally, it offers you some tips on researching
magazines, researching story ideas and getting your
General Interest Publications
MAJOR CLASSES OF MAGAZINES
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the
major classes of magazines.
In general, the four major classes of magazines are
Trade, technical, professional and business
Company (house organs)
Consumer magazines, the largest of the four classes,
include all those publications found on the newsstand
(fig. 4-l). Their contents attempt to appeal to the general
public or to large groups in our society that share
common interests. With few exceptions, consumer
magazines carry advertising and are sold individually or
by subscription. A few magazines that qualify as
consumers are sold only by subscription.
Consumer magazines are made up of general
interest publications and special interest publications.
This distinction is made not so much for the readers as
for the potential writers of magazine articles.
Magazines are purchased by people who expect
certain things from a particular publication. For a
magazine to be successful, those expectations must be
met. Therefore, a writer must adapt to the style
prescribed by a magazines editorial policy and submit
only stories dealing with its expressed area of concern
Any disregard of this policy will result in a storys
automatic rejection, regardless of how interesting or
well written it maybe.
General interest publications, as the category
implies, are intended for the general public. Their
subject matter is broad, and their appeal usually
transcends most of the boundaries of age, sex, race,
education, occupation and geography. Magazines such
as Readers Digest, Life, Parade and The Saturday
Evening Post, fall neatly into this category. Each
contains a variety of articles to interest a diverse
audience. Others, such as Time and Newsweek, also
qualify as general interest publications. Although they
concentrate primarily on news and current events, they
still cover a wide range of subjects, offering something
for everyone. Also, their material is presented in an
easily read style that explains a news story in a way any
reader can understand.
Some magazines originally published for specific
groups now attract a wider audience because of