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Magazine Editors


For the most part, the magazines that existed before the 19th century were designed for relatively small, highly educated audiences. In the early 19th century, however, inexpensive magazines that catered to a larger audience began to appear. At the same time, magazines began to specialize, targeting specific audiences. That trend continues today, with 7,218 consumer print magazines in production in 2018, according to the market research group Statista.

Beginning in the 19th century, magazine staffs became more specialized. Whereas in early publishing a single person would perform various functions, in the 19th century and later, employees performed individual tasks. Instead of having a single editor, for example, a magazine would have an editorial staff. One person would be responsible for acquisitions, another would copyedit, another would handle editorial tasks related to production, and so forth.

The publishing industry has also been powerfully affected by technology. Publishing came into existence only after Johannes Gutenberg had invented the printing press in the mid-15th century, and it has changed in various ways as technology has developed. The most important recent developments have been those that have made it possible to transfer and manipulate information rapidly and efficiently. The development of the computer has revolutionized the running of magazines and other publications. The worldwide scope of magazine reporting is, of course, dependent upon technology that makes it possible to transmit stories and photographs almost instantaneously from one part of the world to another.

The Internet has provided an entirely new medium for magazines. Readers can read many magazines online, either on their computer or mobile device. Online publishers avoid paper and printing costs, but still collect revenue from online subscriptions and advertising.

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