MCOM 458 (magazine analysis)

Award Winning Consumer Magazine Analysis

National Geographic

 

Audience

National Geographic caters to a wide variety of people starting from there twenties and up. The magazine focuses on history, geography, and world culture so mostly a well-educated audience reads it. A majority of the readers have completed graduate school and are married. According to Nationalgeographic.com, National Geographic has a predominately female audience. National Geographic promotes adventure so the audience may be more health conscious and curious. For the February issue in particular it seems as though they are aiming towards a more male audience because the issue is all about “The Birth of Booze.” The ads in national Geographic cater to a variety of ages. One ad is for a NatGeo student travel experience while another ad is for Raisin Brand. Other ads are for mortgage apps and Cannon cameras. Its total circulation is 6.1 globally

 

Editorial Philosophy

National Geographic magazine was founded by the national geographic society in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge.” Their mission is to empower people to navigate the world and uncover the wonders of our time (NationalGeographic.com). Their stories are innovative and representative of a new generation. The thing that sets National Geographic apart from its competitors is its visual storytelling. Their high definition photos are world-renowned.

 

Editorial Formula

National geographic splits its magazines into four different categories including critical issues, health, space and innovation, and adventure and exploration. They then decide which month goes into each category and cover the topic accordingly. For example, a cover story about droughts would typically occur in an April issue because that’s when the issue of droughts becomes more prevalent. Regular features usually include environmental issues or small traveling stories.

 

Organization

The National Geographic Society founded and owned the magazine and network until 2015 when they sold part of the magazine to 21st Century Fox for $725 million. Fox controls 73 percent of the magazine and network while the National Geographic society still controls 27 percent. Fox plays as a financial lifeline for the magazine, which will increase spending on research and travel (washingtonpost.com). The National Geographic society first pair with fox in 1997 to create the National Geographic channel. National Geographic has a staff of over 2,000 people. In 2015 they announced that they were laying off 9 percent of their employees, which was the biggest cut in history for them. NatGeo also comes out with a traveling magazine that is published eight times a year with “fresh travel opportunities” (Travel.nationalgeographic.com).

 

Advertising/Editorial Ratio

National Geographic magazine has 133 pages, out of those pages only 13 had advertisements. This means there is one ad for every 10.2 pages. Ads range anywhere from $296,000-$29,000 depending on size and color.

 

Editorial

The magazines editorial content matches its mission and audience very well. Its goal is to keep people current on world-culture and geography. One of the articles in this months edition is called Modern Amazonia, which is about how tribes in Brazil have to fight for their land, which is being taken over by industrial farming and ranching and how they’ve had to resort to violence in order to reclaim their land. Another article is called “Life After Loss” and it’s about how widows are fighting back. Usually after women in other countries are widowed they lose all of their belongings and are subjects of vulnerability. This article covers women from Bosnia to Uganda to India and so on.

 

Design

The design has an even balance of writing and photographs. The articles are longer which matches the magazines older audience. The vivid pictures are eye catching for people of all ages. The magazine also has a lot of graphs and maps, which is better for a more visual audience. The pictures are diverse in showing people from different cultures and different walks of life, which is what the magazines mission aims to do.

A Silent Love

What do we define as normal? What we live with in our everyday lives can be seen as normal because it is all we have ever known. For Silas Hoxie, 19, his idea of a normal life might be a life that others would struggle with.

“My mom was born deaf and my dad became deaf when he was around two from Meningitis” said Hoxie, a Maryland resident and Towson University Student.

Hoxie grew up in Odenton, Maryland with his parents and five siblings. Growing up, the older siblings had to work together to teach the younger ones how to talk and communicate with their parents.

“We would have to explain to my younger siblings how to communicate with my parents because they were learning how to talk but they were also learning sign language,” said Hoxie. “My oldest brother learned from my grandparents how to talk and then he taught my sister and so on.”

Many people know at least one sign in sign language but few are fluent in it. For Hoxie, translating to his parents is an everyday task.

“When we go out to restaurants or stores I have to sign to my parents and basically translate what’s happening to them, so I’d say that’s a challenge I’ve faced growing up with deaf parents but I’m so used to it it’s not inconvenient for me or anything.”

While most college students call their parents to check in and chat about classes, Hoxie and his siblings use face time and various apps to send their parents video and text messages.

“There’s this app called Glide where you can video tape yourself signing something and then send it. We have a group chat that we all use but you can also send messages individually. I don’t face time with them a lot, I mostly text and use apps.”

For Silas’ friends, his parent’s deafness does not create a barrier that they cannot overcome. Despite the difference in communication styles Hoxie’s friends always try to connect with his parents.

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Towson student Silas Hoxie enjoys free time with his roommates.

“One of my friends decided to major in deaf studies,” said Hoxie. “He came over during thanksgiving break and had a pretty long conversation with my parents. Eventually he ran out of things to sign but it was pretty cool.”

For those of Silas’ close friends who don’t know sign language, communicating through other means is not out of the picture.

“At first I didn’t know what to do,” said Ryan Twomey, 19, Hoxie’s hometown friend and college roommate. “You learn to communicate with your facial expressions and your hands and it’s not so bad.”

Despite the obstacles Silas’ and his family overcome each day he always maintains a positive attitude. He’s learned not to take life too seriously and that it is okay to be different.

“I think the best part about growing up with Silas,” said Twomey, “is when he would roll up to soccer games with the music blasting and his parents wouldn’t even care.”

Watch Silas’ Story Here

 

Westminster ‘Peep show’ Brings Spring Excitement

By Elaina Moradi

The 8th annual ‘PEEPshow’ held in the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster Maryland is happening now through Easter Sunday. Individuals, groups, and even businesses designed and constructed creative pieces of art built entirely out of the sugar coated marshmallows known as Peeps.

“I’ve never been here but I heard about it on the news,” said Jackie Harding, a Baltimore County native. “I thought it was a really unique idea and it’s just very festive, likes it’s welcoming spring.”

The annual event poses as an Easter tradition for many families. Whether they’re creating a Peep masterpiece or just enjoying the festive artwork smiling families can be seen all around the event.

The Peep designs range from lighthearted to political, creating three showrooms containing a total of 150 different entries. Kids are encouraged to make their own peep creations, a large amount of the pieces were created by several Girl Scout troops.

“The creativity that goes into making these sculptures and portraits is amazing,” said Kathleen Barnett, a Carroll County resident, “especially since some of the work is done by children it gives me hope for the next generations creativity and engineering skills.”

The event, hosted by the Carroll County Arts Council, is free to the public. The council raises money by letting people purchase voting chips to vote for their favorite pieces of art. People can also purchase their favorite pieces to take home after the show is over.

The winners receive a Peeps themed package donated by the company that makes the sweet candies, Just Born, Inc. The money raised helps bring talented regional performers to Westminster and support the Westminster arts department.

“Even though it is a free event it’s amazing how much money they’re raising for the arts department,” said Daniel Barker, a Westminster local. “I believe that art really benefits the community and brings everyone together like this show does.”

The show has become so popular that the manufacturers of peeps, Just Born, have authorized the event to sell official Peeps merchandise, bringing in even more money for the community.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until April 5th. The family friendly and bright atmosphere is sure to kick the feeling of spring into full gear.

Blossom Into Spring at Maryland Home and Garden Show

By Elaina Moradi        

The semiannual Maryland Home and Garden show hosted at the Timonium fairgrounds on February 28 was a huge success; over 200 exhibitors and thousands of attendees came together to appreciate a variety of products.

The event, sponsored by M&T Bank, is held twice a year to give buyers the opportunity to shop for home improvement and decor for all seasons. Shoppers can purchase anything from garden essentials to contractor services to organic foods.

“We have one show in the fall and one in the spring and hundreds of exhibitors come out,” said Glen Gutierrez, European Landscape and Design owner. “The show in March is more of a transition from winter to spring so everything is really refreshing and bright.”

Outdoor furniture and gardening expertise aren’t the only things consumers can find at the show. The Home and Garden show also features small food and beverage companies located along the east coast that support and supply home grown and organic fruits and vegetables.

“This is my first time at an event like this,” said Pennsylvania native Timothy Murrell, 53, owner of Murrell’s Mex-Italia Salsa. “The atmosphere is so lively, it’s just a great place to showcase my products. A lot of hard work goes into making and growing everything myself so it’s nice when people take an interest in my creations.”

“I travel around the Pennsylvania and Maryland areas and go to different markets and fairs.” Murrell said. “It’s really important to support small locally owned businesses, plus you’re finding things here that you can’t get anywhere else.”

The family friendly atmosphere of the show attracted an array of people. Green Meadows Petting Farm had animal pens set up and allowed anyone who was interested to pet the animals in order to encourage outdoor activity in children and educate them about farm animals.

A tight budget doesn’t mean strictly browsing at the Home and Garden Show; the array of exhibits offer an assortment of prices ranging from high to low. Margaret Wood, a Howard county resident, comes to the show to window shop every year.

“I’ve been to this show every year and it’s always so beautiful, I’m always seeing things I like but I’ve never actually bought anything.” Wood said, “This year my husband and I bought a house so it’s so exciting picking out all my patio furniture”

The Maryland home and garden show will open again in October 2015 to take shoppers into the cooler months. The fall show will undoubtedly be a hit with more exhibits that will be sure to have something for everyone.IMG_1768 IMG_1766 IMG_1767 IMG_1769 IMG_1776

Conservators Bring Life to Walters Art Museum

By Elaina Moradi

The bustling streets of Baltimore were no comparison to the silent halls of the Walters Art Museum as a crowd of people gathered at the “Watch a Conservator at Work” event on Saturday afternoon.

The event features professional art conservators publicly analyzing and preserving ancient pieces of artwork to help people get a better understanding of where the art came from and how it has influenced modern craft.

“We deal with many different aspects of caring for the collections which include everything from monitoring weather conditions, cleaning and restoring artwork, and learning more about the authenticity of the artwork and where it came from,” said Greg Bailey, 31, assistant conservator.

The conservators at the museum have discovered artifacts dating as far back as the third millennium B.C. The galleries contain preserved ancient artifacts from regions including Egypt, Greece, Rome, France, and Turkey, making the Walters Art Museum internationally renowned for its collection of art.

“The Walters has the second oldest conservation department in the United States. We answer questions about authenticity and historic technologies to get a better understanding of how this art was made. Walters has a fantastic collection of art from all around the world,” said Bailey.

Conservation at the Walters began in 1934. The department consists of four branches, including paintings, objects, rare pieces of writing, and science. The conservation department has a staff of 15 conservators and scientists who identify and conserve artwork daily.

“For the past eighty years the staff here has been working through this backlog of things and we’re not exactly sure what they are,” said Bailey, “everything that comes across my desk is something new and different. It’s interesting to see what it is, where it came from, and how it’s changed over time.”

The galleries are family friendly and educational. Melissa Watson, a Baltimore City native, brings her seven-month-old son, Gabriel, to the Walters Art Museum once a week to watch the art conservators at work and to look at the variety of other exhibits the museum offers.

“He loves watching them clean the pieces of art, he gets so excited every time they take out a new cotton swab” said Watson, “I rather bring him here so he can be exposed to art instead of just turning on the TV and letting him zone out.”

The “Watch a Conservator at Work” event gives you a behind the scenes look at how the art at the museum came to be what it is today. The event is held at the Walters Art Museum every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12:30-4 p.m. IMG_1588 IMG_1592