Personal Introduction

Through my four-year career at Colorado State University professors have mentioned the recent changes in the journalism field. With the emergence of the Internet as an information source, the media have had to learn how to adapt to the changing ways their audiences consume information.

As an Honors student with a primary major of journalism and a passion for my secondary major history, I wanted to bridge the gap for my Senior Honors Thesis. I study the past, and feel understanding the past helps to understand the future.

With so many changes to the journalism field recently, ignoring the changes in the field entirely would be disastrous; media would isolate lose the modern audience. Media would be stuck in the past and audiences who read content online need to be a consideration to magazines.

In the last few years it has become evident the media are changing. Many previous print users are turning to the Internet where they can receive the same information for free. The current predicament many media organizations find themselves in is a result of the new ways people are acquiring their information and the unwillingness of media companies to adapt sooner.

Because of the importance of this shift, along with my understanding (as reluctant as it may have been) that history is history even if it happened during my lifetime, I decided to try to answer the question of how the Internet is being utilized in journalism. To narrow this topic, I chose to look at magazines only.

Magazines have a dynamic and important history in the country. I worked with magazines before for class, examining their content and layout changes over time. I enjoyed looking back in history through pictures and advertisements published in Vogue from 1945. Examining the differences between the two magazines Vogue and Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist from the late 1990s to today’s print versions seemed like a great way to examine the changes in magazines pre- and post-Internet.

I chose these two magazines because I knew they would represent two different populations of readers. Vogue is a more general fashion magazine, appealing to a large population of women. Jewelry Artist is a niche magazine appealing to metal artists. This smaller population means Jewelry Artist has a smaller more targeted audience to appeal to. Both magazines would allow me to examine how magazines appealing to different audiences are adapting to the changes in the industry. Even more important is comparing the content found in print to the website and examining what material the magazines placed online and whether the information is appropriate for the audiences.

Ultimately, the question I am asking has two parts. First, how are the two magazines using their websites? Second, how do these individual cases fit the general trend?