The Lens of a Magazine

magazinesIt’s no secret that every magazine is different. Although there may be different genres of magazines, from fashion to business, each magazine within its genre has a specific lens. What is a lens, you may ask? Each magazine has an idea of what their audience is like, and from there they write articles designed for that audience. It’s important to know what each magazine’s lens is because this is how writers connect with their readers.

You would think that each genre of magazine is pretty much the same; fashion magazines write about the latest trends, sports magazines talk about the latest stud, and so on. But in order to succeed in this cutthroat industry, you need to understand that each magazine has its own lens. Here are some examples of some magazine’s lenses.

Though all fashion magazines cover events like fashion week and the latest season’s trends, they do it in a specific way. Reading magazines like Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar is completely different than reading magazines like Glamour or Marie Claire. Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and other magazines like these are high fashion, no nonsense magazines that not only include fashion and beauty trends, but important news stories as well. Glamour, Marie Claire, and Lucky cover trends in a different way, and are more carefree. Then there are magazines like Teen Vogue and Seventeen—although they cover the same age group, they cover trends in entirely different ways. Teen Vogue is the baby of Vogue by being a combination of carefree and high fashion when covering stories, while Seventeen is an entirely fun-loving magazine.

Another example would be sports magazines like Sports Illustrated or ESPN The Magazine. Unlike fashion magazines, sports publications are more similar in their writing styles. They each have their own opinion of who should be on the cover and why, and write for people who are sports fanatics. Of course, Sports Illustrated differs slightly because of their infamous swimsuit edition. Yet, each of these magazines has their own style of covering the latest winning team or all-star athlete.

When connecting with your audience and when writing through your magazine’s specific lens, the most important thing is to inspire your readers. Sometimes writers find themselves dumbing down their readers. What’s important is connecting with and influencing your readers through your words.

Every magazine is different, no question. Knowing how your magazine covers trends and important events is the key to succeeding not only with your specific magazine, but in the industry as a whole!

Hannah Lavine