Newsweek was put up for sale in May due to multi-year losses. Last week, China’s Southern Daily Group made an unsuccessful bid to buy it. It was the first Chinese bid for a Western publication, and the Group expects to make similar purchases in the future. "It is like dating… it doesn't matter if one date does not like you. You grow from it." [more inside]
"What you're looking for as a retoucher is a broom, something that covers your tracks, some way of obscuring where you've been. The first thing [most] people take out is bloodshot eyes. That's the last thing I take out—the last thing I'd, like, just wipe, because that just makes it look retouched." -- from Jesse Epstein's video op-ed for the NY Times, based on her film Wet Dreams and False Images ("I know that's not airbrushed. I could put a million dollars that's not airbrushed."), one of three related short documentaries on physical perfection. "Each head has to be identical to the other head, so we don't want anybody putting sandpaper to the head." -- from 34 x 25 x 36. Via the latest installment of Shakesville's Impossibly Beautiful series. (Previous posts on retouching.)
Old Magazine Articles Neat little database of .pdf copies of vintage magazine articles like Gilbert Seldes' 1922 review of Krazy Kat in Vanity Fair, a 1910 look at "Horse Versus Automobile," early nose jobs, an interview with James Joyce and more. [via ResearchBuzz]
Easy ways to improve Men's Magazines. Ever notice that the content in men's magazines such as GQ and Men's Health seems a bit vapid? Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from this list of suggested additions. More sharks, less cologne ads. Sounds better already, doesn't it? Now if only they could have Stallone personally deliver the copies to my door. Looks like he could use the work anyway.
Person of the Year. TIME magazine reveals their pick. Is anyone surprised?
Did you know that eating is one of the fondest things Clara Bow is of? Ripping the It Girl a new one, circa 1931.
State of the Media Report 2004 by journalism.org, which seeks to improve news coverage in a more neutral fashion than those who cry bias from the left and right. The group offers advice for average citizens and others. The report focuses mainly on US media and identifies eight trends. The content analyses finds that newspapers have more lifestyle news than in the past, but less government and foreign affairs, even with wars abroad. More front page articles about issues, less on crime and disasters. Network news was heavy on foreign affairs, government, accidents, disaster, crime and health care. The cable networks had a lot of politics and Iraq stuff, but also a lot more celebrity/entertainment/lifestyle stuff than the big four. Local TV news treats crime as topic A. The magazine audience is aging, and total pages are declining, but some, like The Economist and the New Yorker, have found success in niches. Internet journalism is "still largely material from old media rather than something original." And it's still text-y. But it is clearly the future of journalism. But don't pronounce the dinosaurs dead yet. Radio once ruled, and in a way it still does: 94 percent still tune in to radio news at least once a week.
Decoding Visual Language Elements in News Content is an MFA thesis examining how layout, cropping, image selection et al. influence the way the content is perceived. The interactive demo is especially interesting; you can take some TV and magazine layouts and switch out pictures and other elements. It's fascinating to see how different cropping and tints affect your impressions of the content. Media literacy -- especially right now -- is a good thing. (Link via Stan Chin.)
The editor-at-large of The Spectator has resigned in protest at the publication of an anti-American article.
The editor-at-large of The Spectator has resigned in protest at the publication of an anti-American article. There has already been some discussion of this here but the British press seems to be tearing itself apart about how much to support the War on Terror, and what viewpoints it's acceptable to express. The offending article will presumably appear here sometime in the next few days, though its content is somewhat predictable given the views of the author. Funny quote: "I want to be in the magazine more often than I seem to be". Maybe the price of freedom is eternal whingeing.
Seattle's "Alternative Weekly," The Stranger has no actual articles in it this week. Instead, they replaced all of the words in the articles that would normaly be there with a novella. All the normal formatting is there, right down to the letters to the editor and the little news bits. Really clever idea, and from what little I've read so far, a neat story too. Unfortunately the clever layout doesn't translate to the Web site, but the story does just fine.