Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Professor William Glavin
Professor Harriet Brown
Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Journalism Studies | Other Communication
My Capstone project explores how the rise of television contributed to the decline of fiction in magazines and the decline of general interest magazines in America. I argue that television appealed more to advertisers as a mass-market medium than general interest magazines. Magazines had to find a new way to appeal to advertisers, and they did so by becoming niche publications that could offer advertisers a specific type of audience, rather than just a huge amount of readers. Fiction had been used in magazines as a form of mass-market entertainment; with magazines become geared towards specialized interests, fiction fell by the wayside.
To make my argument I studied The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s Weekly, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire. I looked at the history of literary tradition in each magazine. I researched why the magazines that are now closed shut down and what changes they made before they closed. For the still-open magazines I compared the amount of fiction each used to run versus the amount they still do and looked at what kind of content had replaced fiction.
Magazines used to give emerging writers a place to make a name for themselves and for established writers to test-drive new stories or novel ideas. My paper examines how the American reader has changed since the rise of television, and how the role of the American magazine has had to adapt.
Ketchiff, Mirel, "From Page to Screen: Television and the Decline of Fiction in Magazines" (2009). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 486.
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