Monday, June 29, 2015

Motor eyes

I almost forgot the motoring section, so little interest do I have in cars beyond getting from point A to point B. As we've seen from the magazines, plenty of people find far more appeal, usually based on their make or model rather than an overall love of automobiles.

Realer state

Newspapers have long had a substantial real estate section. Serious homebuyers will spend a few weekends looking and bidding at auction.

Magazines are more of the aspirational kind; enticing people to start looking for places in an area. Trade journals are part and parcel of land packages and real estate newsletters are everywhere.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Situations Vacant

The correlative is the employment section. Businesses of a certain size or having the need for key experts to work on each aspect are going to need employees.

Nowadays there's Seek and Monster but for many years it was the paper that, if you were out of work, you would collect and circle likely possibilities.

Magazines tend to keep out of the Job Wanted listings. Some trade journals find it expeditious to advertise positions relevant to their demographic. Academic journals advertise for careers in that sector or field of expertise.

Newsletters will advertise jobs if it is in the nature of their readership.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What Business is it of Yours?

We may decry the reductionism that defines the Right wing viewpoint; the attacks on agents that only seem to promote the enemy, but we do the same with our targets. Business becomes its chief exponents; the Murdochs and Packers, BHP, the West Australian mining oligarchs. We decide to turn our back on it because of the way they manipulate our conditions and our conditioning. But business is everywhere.

Stopping in to buy a loaf of bread and litre of milk, regardless of whether you are off to work for the police force or school, involves extensive industry: wheat and dairy farmers - often from different areas, flour mill, (literal) salt mine, milk company, cardboard manufacturers, bread tag makers. Then there's all the other primary producers responsible for pumpkin seeds and poppy seeds and whatever other new ingredients bread consumers are lining up for. There's bakers and truck driving outfits. Not to mention the supermarket, general store or servo you are buying them from.

It is not that strange that newspapers have a business section.

We've seen that business magazines retain the interest of the readership and trade journals would have no reason to exist without the commerce and salesmanship they document. Business schools see to it that knowing how to market those inventions and discoveries is covered.

Business newsletters may be more popular than sports newsletters though it's probably a close thing.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sporting, a new look

When it comes to news, the agenda of a newspaper may well be to aid and abet Abbott, lengthen the time Shorten spends in Opposition or go into total denial over Di Natale but it still has to report rolling earthquakes in Nepal. One thing it never misses is covering the major sporting events.

Many newspaper readers turn straight to the sports pages, located at the back. The page three girl may finally have left but the form guide never will.

We've already seen how popular sports are in magazines. The sporting industry is well represented in trade journals and such a pivotal human activity that it attracts numerous studies and reports.

I don't know if you ever watched Sliders. This was a good show for as long as it stayed with the central premise of accidentally sliding into different dimensions,  which show Earth as it would have been if key events had been altered. It might have been done with cheesy jump cuts and functionally good actors but it was the ideas being played out that was interesting.

All of this is by way of preamble - since I don't expect those with refined tastes to brave these tepid waters - to mention one episode in particular where, for some reason, art was celebrated instead of sport. The finer arts were first and foremost and other pursuits relegated to a smaller interest and fervour, including sport.

This is how important sport is to us as a culture and a society, that it can be considered foremost. The ep wrapped things up in the alotted time and found a way to do it but what I took from it was the central premise; to imagine a world not dominated by sport and see the difference, it becomes apparent that this is our reality.

I straddle the worlds, the geek who got his photo with Stan the Man and the farmboy athlete so I'm not rooting for either side.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

News to me

While current events and the impact they have on the reader drive the material that will appear in newspapers, there are three positions the print media could take to sway public opinion: one that even mentions the proposed windfarm commissioner, one that digs up old dealings of the Opposition Leader or addresses the breaking news with a spin that paints him as weak (and lets the government carry on), or, finally, the extent to which the leader of the third force, the Greens, is compromised.

It's possible to want to cover any issue from a number of standpoints but there is some bias always. It's a strange kind of one that says "Well, we'll criticise the Trans Pacific Partnership and you see if Labor ever paid people smugglers"
It's one thing to know when an issue has blown up, quite another to dictate how it will be covered.

There are no shortage of magazine examples of simply a crowded marketplace with everyone trying to do the same thing with varying results.

You would hope that journals moderate their discoveries to fit with the work of other researchers. But I don't suppose there's any prohibition on simultaneous similar findings. As long as there is no plagiarism involved.

And the news in newsletter?

Cover, up

You've heard the expression "Hold the front page" and this indicates the immediacy of news stories. Whether it is the headline, the photograph/image, the substance of the main article; what appears on the front page of the newspaper is based on its importance.

The news that the government paid, in their own rhetoric "evil", people smugglers is of this magnitude. No self-respecting editorial team will let a story like that go by. The same applies to news of Australian nationals being killed by firing squad.

No doubt there's enough people on electronic media willing to declaim on too much focus on Indonesia, on Australia-Indonesian relations, on drug smugglers, on our ambassador or foreign minister. This is babble. Newspapers, even the ones habited by hacks, know what the story of the day is.

The purpose of a magazine cover or a journal cover is a matter of intent: a bridal magazine takes a different approach to a bridle one.

Newsletters display their content from the outset

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Letters proceed

Letters to the newspaper have been a feature from the start; a means to connect with the community. The main business of a newspaper is to relay the things happening in their area of reach. While the other paper media don't need to identify with a region, it is what newspapers do.

Letters pages are also a staple (or the pages either side of the staples) of magazines.

I haven't sampled enough trade journals to know whether the readers of Knife Sharpeners Odyssey write in and exchange thoughts on their vocation. Generally academic journals are solely comprised of peer-reviewed pieces, not random contributions from scholars.

I've been saying that newsletters are short and to the point but the definition - as with the play between 'magazine' and 'journal' - is not as hard and fast as all that. Though a search seems to indicate that the newsletter, as the name suggests, is the letter.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Appetising advertising

Advertising in a newspaper gives you broad saturation coverage. Or it used to anyway. Some of that potential audience is watching television or venturing into the commercial sector of the Web.

Advertising in a magazine is a given. Fanzines don't need the outside dollar to stay in production; it's a labour of love. But the mainstream magazine has its eye on the market.

Advertising, unless its inhouse, is seldom seen in newsletters but journals will often feature at least promotions for academic subsidiaries or the trade being targeted. Trade journals in particular are immersed in commerce so there's no qualms there.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Newspapers are filled with articles as are magazines. Journals of a looser style (magazines really) contain them and newsletters are just one article drawn out over the length of a double-sided sheet of paper or something to that effect.

Column shift

Newsletters wouldn't have room for columns but newspapers are set out that way and magazines have columns of a kind. Journals, depending on subject matter, don't normally feature columns.

A columnist is one step up from a journalist as their name is highlighted and they make regular scheduled appearances voicing their opinion or detailing a popular but novel matter. They are the bread and butter of some magazines. Newsletters and journals, again, aren't really the forum for them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Headline errs

Headlines belong in newspapers or, more accurately, on the part that's showing in the rack or the newsboy's hand. They have to grab people's attention and capture the mood; they must notice events that have the most importance, however subjective that may be.

Headlines should be less startling than informative; readers are hooked in by the subject matter and a promise of how it will be told that's implicit in those highlighted, capitalised or bolded words. There's no need to oversell with an inadvised display.

Their equivalent on magazines and journals - not all but a large subsection - are the encapsulation of contents that take place on the cover. Whether this is informational or a selling point or both, it helps to define the publication more than just the masthead would.

Newsletters are as likely to emphasise their main story as the other publications but there is an added weight to choosing one news item to run with when there are so many stories to cover each day. Even magazines that use larger type to denote their main article, can do so at a considered distance unless they are Newsweek or Time.

Weather or not

Newspapers are really the only old style media that report or forecast the weather. Given the frequency of the other media, it would make less sense for them to do so. (Of course even the paper is a bit antiquated in this respect when there are weather apps and you can log in to the Bureau of Metereology site)

Monday, June 08, 2015

Puzzled look

Newspapers and magazines are really the only media big on puzzles. In journals the puzzle is in the article hopefully with some revelations and answers. Since a newsletter is usually put out for the express purpose of providing information to a group, there is not the imperative to amuse them with diversions.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Picked yours

Photographs appear in all the media. They are interspersed throughout newspapers and are used extensively in magazines. Their use has a muted demonstration purpose in journals and can be washed out and limited in newsletters (although, again, less likely with the printers we have)

Ed. a Tory ill

As with the cartoon - known in newspapers especially for its editorial content - media other than the newspaper don't always have an editorial. It depends on the editor, the publisher and the general tone. There have been publications that occasionally have editorials or only have them with certain people in the editor's chair.

We expect magazines, journals and newsletters, if they do have editorials, to reflect the subject matter and general approach.


From what I've read I'd say that cartoons are a feature of newspapers, prominent in many magazine ventures depending on the subject matter, less a part of journals due to their serious and scientific approach and probably take up too much space for the briefer newsletter format. Though there are, I'm sure, exceptions.

Publisher be darned

Publishers of newspapers and magazines, besides having a vision for what they produce, can act on profit or a whim. Journal publishers are housed in academic surrounds. Newsletter publishers may still dwell in a basement unaware of the Internet age, pumping out roneod or photocopied versions but it's less likely. And publishing might mean publishing on the Web.

We now have these old skool media with their own online presence, trying, at least on some subtle level, to pull us away from our screens and get into flicking some pages.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Ed space

These traditional forms may, in many cases, have managed with direct contributions from the scribes without intervention or input from an editor. But the large newspapers, magazines and journals have one (or more) and company newsletters very often do as well.