Before we get into the functions of magazines, it is necessary to know a brief introduction of the term “magazine”. The term “magazine” is derived from an Arabic word “machsan” which means “storehouse of knowledge, treasure”.
A magazine is a periodical containing variety of articles, stories and poems etc.
The world’s first magazine was “The Review” published in 1704 as a small weekly periodical founded by “Daniel Defoe”. The term Magazine was first used in 1731 in the title of “Gentleman’s Magazine” founded in London. The first essay-type periodical was Tattler published in 1709 by Richard Steel and edited by Isac Bickerstaff.
Functions of Magazine:
Some of the most important functions of magazines are entertainment, information, to comment, and advertisement.
They are briefly described as follows:
Magazine reading is an activity of leisure and a big source of entertainment. It is a source of relief from excursion, tension and frustration. Magazines provide entertainment in the form of showbiz activities, sports commentaries, stories, reviews, interviews, cartoons, puzzles, and analysis of various issues. Some people may find entertainment in political stories; some may find it in novels or cartoons. It depends on the mood of the reader. Some entertainment magazines (from various angles) are Khawateen Digest, Jung Magazine, Family Magazine, Stardust, Sportslink, Weekly WikKid etc.
Another important function of magazine is to give information. Information may be related to world news, cultures, activities, events of various companies or celebrities or people around the world etc. The method of providing information used by magazine is different from that used by newspapers.
In magazines, you can find detailed critical analysis reviews, columns, features, comments on important issues. These issues may be related to economical, social, religious or political fields. These commentaries help in forming and shaping opinion of the people. Some famous news and current affairs magazines are Newsline, Herald, Jehangir World Times and many more.
The importance of advertisements in today’s competitive world of business activities cannot be ignored at any cost. Advertisement is a source of introducing commodities, goods, services, items etc to the masses. It gives essential market information to the public. Through advertisements in magazines, people are aware about the changes in product, fashion trends in society. Advertisements in magazines can also be a public service message related to family planning, T.B, childcare, Hepatitis, education or Health issues. Most of the advertisements are placed in fashion magazines or monthly digests.
A magazine can become popular if it performs the functions given above. To maintain its success and popularity, it must be aware of the demand of its readers and market, the quality of content and paper offered by its competitors in the field, educational background and purchasing power of the public and must have a very trained and professional staff which enhances magazine quality in terms of its articles and viewership. It is only these principles which will help magazines to perform its functions successfully and give the best to its readers.