lifestyle journalism - session 1 - introduction to lifestyle journalism

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Lifestyle Journalism – Session 1 – Introduction to Lifestyle Journalism A general introduction to the topic of lifestyle journalism offering a comparison to that of 'hard news', a brief historical background, some context for the commercial nature of lifestyle journalism and an overview of the current market place. Sources Hanusch, F. (2012) BROADENING THE FOCUS. Journalism Practice, 6:1, 2-11. Lockhart, J. (2008). 5 Reasons to Love Service Journalism. Available online: [accessed 19-02-2014]. Research & Markets (2013). Lifestyle Magazines Market Update 2013. Available online: [accessed 19-02-2014]. Note on this slide deck This is one of a series of slide decks for a course in Lifestyle Journalism delivered to undergraduates from the School of Journalism & Communications at Zhejiang University of Media & Communications in the spring of 2014. The course set out to mix theoretical concerns about lifestyle, culture and media with a practical approach to writing and publishing lifestyle journalism. Students on the course developed their own story ideas and published them to the website. The content of the slide decks in this series is drawn from multiple sources and these have been credited at the end of the deck. The author has sampled liberally from the internet and is happy to address any copyright issues that such an approach may have caused. However it is worth noting that no commercial value has been created in using any of the content found in the slide decks which were produced for educational purposes only. If you feel your content, where used, is not properly atributed please get in touch and the author will amend this right away. Key Sources Kanigel, R. 2012. The Student Newspaper Survival Guide. Wiley Blackwell, 2nd Edition. Franklin, B. (Ed.) 2012. Special Issue: Lifestyle Journalism. Journalism Practice, Volume 6, Issue 1.



2. Soft News: primarily focuses on audiences as consumers, providing them with factual information and advice, often in entertaining ways, about goods and services they can use in their daily lives. SOFT NEWS vs HARD NEWSSOFT NEWS vs HARD NEWS 3. LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Magazines have always strived to inform and entertain. 4. LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM The rise of lifestyle journalism can be traced back as far as the 1950s and 1960s and the emergence of consumer culture. 5. LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Modern Lifestyle Journalism was pioneered in part by Clay Felker, who launched New York in 1968. Published among lengthy investigative and literary pieces were tips and features on fashion, food, and travel. 6. LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM As newspapers increase the number of pages they need to fill and the arrival of satellite and cable TV with the requirement for ever more content leads to the establishment of dedicated channels, magazines and newspaper sections. 7. LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Health and fitness, food and drink, fashion, property and home improvement, children and education, computers and gaming, gardening, entertainment, leisure, music, arts. 8. DEFINING LIFESTYLE JOURNALISMDefinitions of journalism help us better understand what Lifestyle Journalism is all about. Journalism is the business or practice of producing and disseminating information about contemporary affairs of general public interest and importance It is in the arena of political affairs that part journalism makes the strongest claim to public importance 9. DEFINING LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM In contrast Lifestyle Journalism is seen as almost unworthy of the term journalism thus it is often held in contempt by those who practice journalism in the service of Hard News. 10. DEFINING LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM A broader definition An account of the existing real world as appropriated by the journalist and processed in accordance with the particular requirements of the journalistic medium through which it will be disseminated to some section of the public. Allows for other forms of journalism that still document the real world for example travel journalism as distinct from travel writers. 11. DEFINING LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Another definition sees Lifestyle Journalism as news you can use or the way the news media provide their audiences with information, advice and help about the problems of everyday life. 12. THREE DIMENSIONS OF LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Providing advice. A review function. And commercialisation. 13. THREE DIMENSIONS OF LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Lifestyle journalists see themselves: as cultural mediators, critics, entertainers, information providers and travellers. 14. LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM THE BEATS Travel, fashion, style, health, fitness, wellness, entertainment, leisure, lifestyle, food, music, arts, personal technology, gardening and living. These may be found in individual sections of newspapers, entire magazines, programs on radio or television, or even dedicated websites. 15. COMMERCIALISM AND LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM The strong market- orientation of Lifestyle Journalism is certainly a defining aspect of the field. 16. COMMERCIALISM AND LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Commercialism has always been an integral component of journalism. Johann Carolus, who published the worlds first newspaper, Relation, in 1605, is said to have had no journalistic motives for changing his production of handwritten news sheets to the new technology of mass printing. 17. COMMERCIALISM AND LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Similarly, commercial motives were primarily responsible for the introduction of womens pages and womens magazines and a slow increase in the number of female journalists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. 18. COMMERCIALISM AND LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM The expansion in womens pages in newspapers during the 1950s and 1960s can also be traced back to an attempt to attract female readers in order to open new markets. 19. COMMERCIALISM AND LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM The rise of a consumer culture in the West in 1950's onward and increased amounts of individual leisure time, has led to a demand for information about how to best spend the free time. 20. UK MARKET PLACE 21. Did you know? 75% of all adults buy magazines There were over 250 new launches last year 10,000 magazines are sold every minute The UK magazine market is worth an astonishing 4billion 22. UK LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE MARKET UPDATE 2013 DECLINE IN PRINT CIRCULATION Sales of magazines have declined over the past decade - by 4.8% between 2008 and 2012. Women's lifestyle titles continued to account for the majority of sales in the lifestyle category. The strongest performing example being the health and fitness title Women's Health. Men's lifestyle titles observed a small increase in circulation between 2012 and 2013. Categories such as music and film, sports and motoring observing particularly poor circulation 23. UK LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE MARKET UPDATE 2013 INCREASE IN DIGITAL CIRCULATION Some publishers introducing new digital-only specialist titles to appeal to the growing digital audience. Men's lifestyle magazine How it Works revealed that around 21.8% of its total circulation was accounted for by digital editions for the 6-month period ending June 2013. A continued rise in the number of people utilising Internet-connected mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and e-readers, should help to boost digital subscription sales over the coming years. 24. 5 REASONS TO LOVE LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM Lifestyle and Service Journalism dominates the news stands yet is still considered second rate audiences, it seems would disagree. 25. 5 REASONS TO LOVE LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM 1. Quality is still just as important and a lifestyle feature takes as much research as a hard news piece. Freelancer David Hayes recalls the first service piece he wrote for Toronto Life in the 80s; it was on home renovation. You treat this exactly like 26. 5 REASONS TO LOVE LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM 2. Selling copies doesnt mean selling out. Even Ravary, one of service journalisms biggest champions, acknowledges that magazines have to be careful not to disservice their readers by selling out to advertiser demands. But her solution is simple: If we rewrite press releases, if we pay homage to the big beauty advertisers, then we deserve all the scorn thats heaped upon us, she says. Do your work with integrity. 27. 5 REASONS TO LOVE LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM 3. Check the best before date. Womens magazines are often accused of recycling ideas, information and articlesa charge editors dont necessarily deny. Lifestyle Journalism grows wearisome when we read, for the third time, to drink lots of water (Chatelaine: January 1999, April 2000, August 2001); how to get your body beach- ready (Flare: July 1998, April 2000, June 2001); and to always eat breakfast (Canadian Living: April 2004, September 2005, March 2008). Service doesnt have to be, and shouldnt be, repetitive. 28. 5 REASONS TO LOVE LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM 4. Packaging is more than just a pretty wrapper. Walrus won silver for The Teenage Brain, a story about why adolescents sleep in, take risks and wont listen to reason. Although the article fell into the service category simply by being explanatory i.e. it didnt feature any of the characteristic structural elements of a service storythere were no instructional subheadings or advice. The Canadian Living article published five years earlier, Hardwire Your Teens Brain for Success, by Kristin Jenkins, was a sharp 29. 5 REASONS TO LOVE LIFESTYLE JOURNALISM 5. It doesnt hurt to offer food: readers cant think on an empty stomach. While advertisers indisputably play a role in the content that appears in magazines, its clear that the womens books and city magazines answer to a more powerful god. Theres no doubt that most readers want service, Its the crack cocaine of the magazine industry world. Ultimately, readers determine content by voting with their cash. 30. CONCLUSION Lifestyle Journalism doesnt appear in magazines because editors or publishers are enthusiastic about it, but because its what readers want. 31. Sources Hanusch, F. (2012) BROADENING THE FOCUS. Journalism Practice, 6:1, 2-11. Lockhart, J. (2008). 5 Reasons to Love Service Journalism. Available online: [accessed 19-02-2014]. Research & Markets (2013). Lifestyle Magazines Market Update 2013. Available online: [accessed 19-02-2014].


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