The Presence of Women’s Magazines in the Digital World

As people are transitioning away from the reading the newspaper to reading the news digitally online the same transition is seen happening with women’s magazines in the digital age. Brooke Duffy in her book Remake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age discusses the change of how women’s magazines are read today with the access of digital technology. Duffy introduces magazine access through digital technology with a particular example of a YouTube clip from Jean-Louis Constanza of which had featured Constanza’s one-year-old daughter playing with an iPad (Duffy, 1). In one of the scenes titled “This One Does Not Work” the daughter was given a print edition of the magazine Marie Claire which she was reading on her iPad and obviously she couldn’t scroll pages with her finger so she said “it doesn’t work” and Constanza gave her back the iPad and said “For my one-year-old daughter, a magazine is an iPad that does not work. It will remain so for her whole life” (Duffy, 1). What a perfect way to start of explaining how magazines are read in the digital age and hypothesizing that the next generation of women may only know the material of magazines within a tablet rather than reading a print edition.


I believe that magazines are not out completely out of our generation yet because I always see people buying them from the check-out counter today. The way women’s magazines are marketed would definitely change if the magazine business was leaning more through online access and using more advanced digital technology. Duffy even mentions this in her book when she says that typesetting specialists were no longer required since it became easy for any writer to use word-processing equipment and editors and writers were expected to “expand their skills” (Duffy, 38-39). With digital applications on PC like Microsoft Word or any kind of application similar to that make it simple to typewrite which allows many more applicants for a job in women magazine’s than just typesetting specialists since they are no longer needed for that specialty. Digital technology has helped the development of women’s magazines very much and allowed for a closer relationship online between fans and publishers. An example of this can be forums or blogs that publishers of women’s magazines can read to see what they can or should market to people. Duffy mentions how the possibility of online interaction of fans to publishers have helped the development of women’s magazines when she says “computer databases were instrumental in allowing magazine publishers to understand their readers in more intricate and nuanced ways, and this data helped them to gain leverage in deals with advertisers” (Duffy, 40). It is always important for companies who publish magazines to know how to advertise and appeal to readers of their material.


Social media’s growth has definitely impacted the effectiveness of professional produced media forums and it is necessary for magazine companies to have some kind of presence where many people are spending time online (Duffy, 40). Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are easy to access for most online users when they go on their computers or laptops and it is also easy if not easier on mobile devices and tablets. For mobile devices and tablets Facebook and Twitter come as applications and the reason it is easier for people to access it on these devices as opposed to a PC is because people always tend to carry them wherever they go. Tablets are not as popular as mobile devices so usually its just smart phones people always tend to have with them and even in a bathroom people can read something. Duffy gives a fact about mobile devices when she says “A 2012 eMarketer report indicating that people are spending more time with their mobile devices than with print products seems to indicate that this downward trend is unlikely to reverse in the near future” (Duffy, 41). This could negatively impact the magazine industry since people tend to read articles on their mobile devices with instant internet access so if magazine industries have an advertising presence online it may not even make a difference if there’s interesting material online to read on the go.

Duffy, Brooke Erin. Remake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age. N.p.: University of Illinois, 2013. Print.

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