Team Black Velvet
Magazine Analysis: ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine is one of the most popular sports magazines in the United States. Its feature articles try to appeal to all types of sports fans, from the young to the old, and from the casual to the die-hards. When talking about a specific moment in sports history in its article, there is usually a picture to go along with it. The use of pictures helps the reader to better connect with what they have read, or even help them recall a memory of that event. Its articles usually use a lot of quotes from athletes and other important and respected individuals in the sports community, providing the reader with different outlooks and opinions on the topic the article is covering. Along the right side of the article, there are links to other related articles, such as other pieces on the same athlete. Having a sidebar in our article can be useful for our topic too since our topic covers multiple sports.
In terms of language, style and format, we made several observations based on the sample article: the writer uses short to medium length sentences which gave the article great flow and made it easy to read. The language is descriptive and vivid, which makes the read more riveting. The narrative included a lot of conversations between its subjects (Michael Jordan, his family), which allowed the readers to feel involved and connected. The tone is honest and unassuming, yet powerful and genuine, full of quiet respect for Michael Jordan. The writer intersperses the narration with his own perspective and emotional rendering to capture and accentuate Michael Jordan’s psychological state. The writer utilized subheadings to divide up the article to cover different stages of Michael Jordan’s career and life.
Since the magazine tries to attract all types of readers, there typically isn’t too much technical language used in its articles. With our group’s topic being sports technologies and advancements that are being implemented to help referees and our target audience ideally encompassing all sports fans, we want to write the article in a way that all levels of readers will be able to understand clearly. We want it to be accessible to the average fan and appealing to the sports geeks researching all the details about this technology.
Team J + Andrew
MIT Technology Review
The MIT Technology Review is an online and printed publication whose target audience is “highly educated and affluent business leaders, innovators, thought leaders, and early adopters.” While most of the articles are written by staff, articles can be submitted by those knowledgeable in their fields, and are then reviewed before publication. The articles are written in a clear and concise manner, efficiently getting the news across without seeming too technical. Additionally, every article is written in a formal language to maintain the professional vibe that this magazine tries to portray. In terms of length, articles tend to be around 600-700 words long, or about two pages. However, articles range anywhere from 400-2000 words. In accordance with their professional vibe, the sentences tend to be on the longer side, but the paragraphs consist of very few sentences. Most of the articles do not display any formulas, charts, graphs, or tables. Instead, they usually contain one or two pictures at most. The titles give a brief but clear summary of the general article in about seven or eight words. Furthermore, alongside each article is a box labeled “Why it matters.” Because the publication strives to help further ideas, it makes sure that this box is prominent and gives a brief summary of the topic’s application and usefulness. Overall, MIT Technology Review is a great magazine to publish news about current technologies or advances because it gets the news to readers efficiently and effectively without adding any unnecessary verbiage.
Our group is considering writing our article for Discover Magazine. Discover publishes articles about medicine, science, and technology, as well as sub-categories within each of these major fields. The magazine claims that their target audience is people who are “affluent, educated, and involved in their communities. They have a passion for learning more about their universe”. Our article about autonomous vehicles and driverless cars would probably fit most appropriately within the technology category. Discover’s technology articles seem targeted toward general audiences with some common interest in the material, gadget, or idea being analyzed or reported on. The articles discuss the ideas or processes in very broad terms, hardly incorporating any technical details besides basic information that could be relevant to any possible consumers, such as weight, size, or usefulness/practicality. Autonomous vehicles could potentially be a major form of transportation, and since people would be concerned with the aesthetic, safety, and practical features, Discover’s technology section seems to suit the type of article we would be writing. An article in Discover would allow us to delve into the general technology that autonomous vehicles incorporate, and how this technology would benefit the consumers/audience we are writing for. The writing style, from the articles in Discover, seems relatively informal and relaxed. The authors expound on interesting features without using any formal equations, references, or technical jargon that would render the casual (high-school education) reader disinterested. Articles range from 250-500 words and could be considered short while also getting their points across.
to infinity and beyond
The magazine Scientific American can be summarized as a magazine targeted at people with a serious interest in science, written at a level that could be read by most people with a high school education. This is exemplified by the serious but conversational tone of the articles. Background knowledge necessary to understand the science being discussed is included, but usually only a few sentences on any given topic (for example, gene fixation in populations). Here a more general-public magazine would include perhaps two paragraphs and a related analogy. The reader is assumed to be capable of filling in the gaps. A Majority of the feature articles deal with a recent advance in the core scientific fields, but applied articles on technology and medicine also have a presence in most issues. Articles tend to shy away from making broad sweeping future claims or alarmist statements based on recent advancements, and instead try to state extrapolations of current research rather matter-of-factly. The magazine does publish articles about possible future developments in science, technology, and related fields, such as an article about the various hurdles and challenges that would affect humans colonizing mars, that aren't tied to a single recent breakthrough or piece of research. Average feature length articles are about five pages, with about 500-600 words per page. The magazine is famous for including detailed graphics that tie together a lot of the information provided by a given article. Our article, written matter-of-factly about the current and possible future state of asteroid mining, would fit in well.
WIRED is an American magazine and online periodical. This magazine reports on the influence of new and developing technology on society, the economy and politics. WIRED targets a predominantly male audience from young adults to middle-age people with interests in technology, science, economics, etc. Some of the audience likely have some technical education or knowledge, and this is the main group that would be interested in computer technology and warfare. Most of the articles are written in a friendly and casual tone attracting people who have intellectual curiosity about the subject matter but are not professionals in these fields. WIRED is chiefly concerned with putting new and emerging technology into the context of the readers’ everyday lives. Therefore, our article will fit into WIRED’s paradigm as it is about the real world implications and possible consequences of advanced cyber warfare technologies. Like most WIRED articles, our article will not require ample prior knowledge of cyber warfare and may only require some basic understanding of computer technologies. WIRED does not include much technical jargon, though when it does, it explains the terminology in simple language. Most of the sentences and paragraphs in WIRED are not too lengthy, and the word choice, including the use of contractions, gives the magazine a slightly casual feel. The headings and titles of the articles are often informal as well, creating a relaxed reader-friendly environment. Conversely, based on some interviews in the magazines, the articles are not strictly casual, as they retain seriousness and formality when necessary. For our article and target audience, we plan to minimize technical terms to only the necessities, while at the same time explaining enough about the exciting technologies to pique the reader’s interest. Our sentences will be strong and concise, avoiding overly wordy language.