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Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Lecture Notes - Canadian Magazine, Canadian Illustrated News, American News Company

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

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November 8, 2011 Lecture
Development of the Magazine
-Early form: academic/scholarly journals
-Journal des scavans
-France, 1665
-Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
-London, 1665
-Popular magazines
-Resemble books, early newspapers
-Offered “comment, criticism, satire”
-Daniel Defoe’s Review 1704
-offered comments, criticism and satire trying to influence public taste
-liked to discuss national and international politics.
-most compelling force was in the sarcasm of the text. it wasn’t simply social
commentary, more like a satirical approach to the news (satire) partly because it
was rooted in his great distaste for the king at the time.
-Joseph Addison’s Spectator (1711)
-Informal essays, fiction as well as satire and sarcasm from Defoe’s review
-Frivolous articles: leading fashions of the time (more like pop. magazines)and
how to host a tea party
-Aimed at male and female audiences
-Periodicals were just bits of text containing scientific info. Take a few decades for the journal
magazine to resemble more of a magazine that we’re used to, but they still resembled books
more than magazines.
-Very limited advertising at this time. These popular magazines were intended to be gentile
soapboxes from which literate men expound their points of view
-focused on social commentary other than news.
Early Canadian Magazines
-Style of magazine imported into North America
-Nova-Scotia Magazine and Comprehensive Review
-John Howe
-Reprints from U.S Britain
-Canadian fiction and poetry
-Short lived
-Overwhelmed by newspapers
-By 1865 there were over 400 newspapers in British North America alone, and all of them got
readership from magazines (?)
-Most magazines at this time lasted just a few months to a few years
Literary-Political Magazines in Canada
-Canadian Illustrated News
-Pioneered photo engraving
-shift from the dense box of text that had defined mags and newspapers for the
last hundred years
-Tied to Canadian nationalism
-gathered a good following because of this

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-Sell Canada to Canada
-This Week
-Goldwyn Smith
-encourage cooperation between Canada and US
-Important because it Encouraged US-Canadian ties
-Cartoonist John Bengough
-Satirical weekly, political cartoons
-predecessor to the Daily Show, Colbert Report, Rick Mercer
-Accessible to wide readership
Characteristics of Literary-Political Magazines
-Heavy reliance on illustrations, engravings
-Mixture of high culture, business and political coverage into one edition
-Magazines were subscription based
-25 cents an issue
-Few ads at this time in literary political magazines
-Upper Class Readership
-magazines targeted audience that had extra cash on hand
-Keys to success
-Lax copyright laws allowed mags to steal material from French or British magazines.
The ocean between Canada and europe assisted this. US was even taken from and
available really really cheaply.
-Population increase and more income from that populaton
-Communication, transportation
-Natural monopoly
-literary political magazines focused chiefly on politics and business. US
magazines that focused on US business and politics weren’t that applicable to
Canada. Canadian magazines were insulated from competition in the UNited
States. There’s always competition between media forms in Canada and the US
Turning Point: Saturday Night (1887-2005)
-Canadian magazine
-Est. 1887 and printed into 2005
-initial circulation of 10 000 subscribers
-Short life as a blog
-Edmund E. Sheppard
-Cowboy and editor
-Literature and current topics
-avoid controversy
-only make remarks in a breezy and thoughtful way about politicians and stuff;
element of humour in political commentary of this magazine.
-articles, profiles of famous people, cultural subjects, stories and poetry
-included domestic and household columns
-so it had lots of stuff included in it, not just politics
-Increase in advertising in the magazine
-wasn’t funding the operation solely on subscription fees. He lowered the fee to make it
widely accessible and then used ads to fill that gap.
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