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Storage medium
open magazine
lifespan to centuries
successor Electronic journal

Among the print media , journals (historically journal and equivalent to the French or English term magazine - also called magazine ) denote periodicals that appear at regular intervals - usually weekly, fortnightly or monthly - in the same cover form and usually with special content thematic or subject- relevant orientations. Editors of magazines usually choose as cover a stapled , a paperbackor a bound form. Magazines are largely defined by their negative demarcation from newspapers . One aspect of this demarcation was, for example, the higher quality color printing used .

Furthermore, the four criteria of periodicity, timeliness, universality and publicity, which represent the basic requirements for allocation to a newspaper, also apply to magazines with certain restrictions. These printed works either deal with a range of different and diverse topics, which, however, mostly do not meet the criterion of being up-to-date, or they provide information about current technical issues, dispensing with thematic versatility and thus universality.

With the spread of new media of the millennium are increasingly (also) magazines as called for about electronic journals published , which - like the distribution of printed copies - both individually and in a subscription sold are.


Magazines in trade (1988)
Magazines in Retail (2014)

A distinction is mainly made between general-interest magazines and specialist magazines . Membership , customer and employee magazines are also gaining in importance .

Popular magazines

Consumer magazines are divided into four types of magazine, whereby it should be noted that the boundaries are fluid:

General Interest Magazines
These include, for example, magazines , news magazines , business magazines , program magazines , classic women's magazines (fashion, wellness, glossy magazines, etc.), entertaining women's magazines ( rainbow press ), classic men's magazines , children's magazines (such as Bummi ) and youth magazines ( Bravo , Popcorn, etc.)
Special interest magazines
These include for example the film magazines , puzzle magazines , sports magazines , travel magazines , Science and Education magazines , gay magazines , satirical magazines , cultural magazines , city magazines and independent titles .
Other types are audience magazines and very special interest magazines

The term general interest magazine has existed since around the early 1950s . This genus or group of magazines is considered the greatest reach , sales - and the highest circulation .

Trade journals

Specialist journals (relevant publications) are the genre with the most titles. These include magazines on specific topics such as computers , sports or hobbies, literary magazines , science magazines or cultural magazines .

Corporate publishing

Under corporate publishing all company-related media publications are understood, including magazines. Here, member magazines , customer magazines , employee magazines and so-called company magazines are particularly to be highlighted. They often have high editions.


Classification according to the frequency of publication

In addition, periodicals are also differentiated according to the frequency of their publication :

Most of these journal types have their own Wikipedia articles or they are presented in more detail in the article Public Magazines .


The term “journal” was established around 1750, previously the French or English term “journal” was used. The beginnings of the magazine were just as varied as today's range of magazines. It developed from the most diverse forerunners: the pamphlets , weeklies and single-sheet prints , the polemicals, the relations and measurement relations , advices and chronicles.

In addition to these early forms of dissemination of news came in 1597 with the in Rorschach , Lake Constance appearing Rorschacher monthly review a periodical, which is regarded as the first German-language magazine. Like the first two journals in France and England, the Journal des sçavans from January 1665 in Paris and the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in London in the same year , these periodicals were already published in the respective national languages, although the predominant one in science Latin continued to be the journalistic standard. Thus, from 1670 was about Leipzig moved journal Miscellanea curiosa medicophysica yet written in Latin, while the 1681 published Relationes curiosae of Eberhard Werner Happel that from 1688 printed monthly discussions of Christian Thomasius and 1689 laid monthly interviews of some good friends of all kinds Books and other pleasant stories were published in German. In 1709, the Neue Bibliothek was another magazine in German. Other early magazines in the German-speaking area were the Political Journal along with an advertisement for learned and other matters (from 1781) and the Minerva (from 1792).

At the height of the Enlightenment movement in Germany in the 18th century, the magazine became the decisive and influential medium of the time. This is proven not only by the numerous Moral weekly publications , but also more impressively by the first, quasi contemporary general subject index by Beutler / Gutsmuths (1790), in which it says:

Through the journals, the knowledge which was otherwise only the property of scholars and was kept in books which the greater part of the nation did not understand, could not read, and could not read, became general through the journals put into circulation, cleaned, and translated into the common vernacular, and now passed through all hands like a convenient dividing coin. "

Almost at the same time a repertory by Johann Samuelersch appeared , which provided information in several volumes on the general German journals and other periodical collections . Thanks to the bibliographies by Diesch and Kirchner, there is clarity about the several thousand titles and the size of the journals in the 18th century.

In addition, thematic specialization in magazines begins in the 18th century. With the editing of medical and legal, theological and historical journals , the genre of specialist journals began to develop , as did that of women's magazines and, in the 19th century, of the illustrated magazines . For the specialist discourse within the sciences, the scientific journals then begin to play their fundamental role in the 19th century, which dominated the 20th century and continues to this day, even if in the 21st century no longer only as a print medium , but increasingly also in electronic form .

One of the most important journal theorists was Walter Hagemann .


In 2005, the total circulation of the general- interest magazines recorded by IVW in Germany was around 123.1 million copies per issue. The number of titles in trade journals in Germany was 3,637 in 2005 with a total circulation of 15.1 million copies.

While only around 45% of the popular magazines are sold by subscription , the figure is around 90% for specialist journals.

Statistically, every German from the age of six bought 34 magazines in 2005. (Source: IVW , 873 measured consumer magazines, not including the special issues).

Sales figures 2008

  • Current periodicals and magazines: 33.4 million copies
  • Women's magazines : around 71.8 million copies (weekly 43.0 million, fortnightly 8.4 million, monthly 20.4 million).
  • Program guides: 72.4 million copies

The Association of German Magazine Publishers publishes current figures regularly

Internet activities

According to an Emnid study by the Association of German Trade Press in the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels , the Internet is used as much as the print versions, but with a turnover share of only 2 percent. A study by the Association of German Magazine Publishers names 4.6 percent and expects more than doubling by 2009.

See also


  • Hans Bredow Institute (Ed.): Media from A to Z. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-531-14417-0 .
  • Ernst Fischer, Wilhelm Haefs, York-Gothart Mix (Hrsg.): From Almanach to Newspaper. A handbook of the media in Germany 1700-1800 . Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 978-3-406-45476-9 .
  • Katja Lüthy: The magazine. On the phenomenology and history of a medium. UVK, Konstanz 2013, ISBN 3-86764-413-6 .
  • Wolfgang Martens: The Message of Virtue. The enlightenment in the mirror of the German moral weekly papers. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 1968; unchanged study edition 1971, ISBN 3-476-00223-3 .
  • Edigna Menhard, Tilo Treede: The magazine. From the idea to marketing. Constance 2004, ISBN 3-89669-413-8 .
  • Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, Winfried Schulz, Jürgen Wilke (Hrsg.): The Fischer Lexicon journalism, mass communication. 7th edition. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-596-12260-0 .
  • Sibylle Obenaus : The German general critical magazines in the first half of the 19th century. Draft of an overall presentation. In: Archives for the history of the book industry. Vol. 14, 1973, ISSN  0066-6327 , pp. 115-120, (also as a special edition . Booksellers Association, Frankfurt am Main 1973).
  • Heinz Pürer, Johannes Raabe: Press in Germany. 3rd completely revised and expanded edition. UVK, Konstanz 2007, ISBN 978-3825283346 .
  • Siegfried Weischenberg, Hans J. Kleinsteuber, Bernhard Pörksen (eds.): Handbook of Journalism and Media. Konstanz 2005, ISBN 3-89669-429-4 .
  • Volker Wolff : ABC of newspaper and magazine journalism. Constance 2006, ISBN 3-89669-578-9 .

Web links

Wikisource: Journals  - Sources and Full Texts
Wiktionary: magazine  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Magazines  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Nicole Hennemann: The Sinus Milieus in the magazine Cosmopolitan . Diplomica publishing house . Hamburg, 2009. p. 10. ISBN 978-3-8366-8033-2 .
  2. ^ Nicole Hennemann: ibid. P. 10ff.
  3. Volker Hagedorn on: Galloping reporters in DIE ZEIT October 22, 2015 p. 18.
  4. ^ Digitized newspapers of the 17th century .
  5. ^ HJC Beutler, JCF Guthsmuths: General subject index on the most important German magazines and weeklies . Leipzig 1790, p. II.
  6. ^ Johann Samuelersch: Repertory on the general German journals and other periodical collections . Vol. 1-3, Lemgo 1790-1792.
  7. ^ Carl Diesch: Bibliography of the Germanistic journals. Leipzig 1927
  8. Joachim Kirchner: Bibliography of the German-speaking area until 1900. Volume 1, Stuttgart 1969.
  9. ^ Paul Raabe: The magazines as a medium of the Enlightenment in: P. Raabe: Buchlust und Lesefreuden. Contributions to the history of the book industry in Germany . JB Metzler Stuttgart 1984, pp. 106-116 ISBN 3-476-00556-9 .
  10. ^ Association of German Magazine Publishers eV , VDZ Edition Services, May 22, 2009