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Peer Review

Magazine Production



Overall Numeric Rating:

3.8 stars
Content Quality: 3.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3.8 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jun 10, 2006 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: "Magazine Production" is a learning module found within the Media Awareness
Network website. It discusses and asks students to investigate how magazines
target specific target markets throughout its publications. More specifically,
students role play the various jobs and responsibilities at a magazine.
Students are instructed to create, write, lay out, and design a complete
magazine including articles and advertisements. The website contains a
downloadable lesson plan, as well as three student handouts that focus on a
senior, adolescent and parent focused magazine project.
Type of Material: Magazine Production is a lesson plan that asks students to explore magazine
production aimed at three specific target markets (senior, adolescent, and
parents). In particular, it asks students to bring magazines to class to
review. Some of the critical questions that they need to answer include: who is
the target audience, number of ad and content pages, the magazine’s tone,
identify the various roles in a magazine, etc. Next, the class is to be divided
up into three “magazines”. Students are then supposed to create a magazine for
seniors, adolescents, or parents. Development of the magazine includes writing
articles, developing a layout/cover page, and role playing (writers, editors,
Recommended Uses: This material can be expanded to including how to price the advertisements and
the magazine itself. Another interesting extension would be the conflict
between the publisher and editor, in other words, the content that readers are
paying for and the advertising that companies pay for. Advertisers would love
for the magazine to take their money for an ad, but also furnish an article on
the company. The more ads contained within the magazine the more revenue
generated; however, this will eventually lead to fewer readers and, probably,
fewer advertisers, since they would prefer to be the magazine’s only paid

The lesson plan, could be integrated into a class discussion on target markets
and/or media by having the students discuss the trend toward more specialized
mediums. Then, an instructor can follow-up by having students create a list of
article ideas and appropriate brands that match specific groups.
Technical Requirements: Internet Browser and Adobe Reader.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students will have a better understanding of how each component in a magazine
needs to relate to its target market. This includes not only advertising, but
also the content of the magazine as well.
Target Student Population: This module is targeted primarily for 11 and 12th graders, however, although
with slight modification portions of this lesson may be relevant for
undergraduates. Beginning advertising and marketing communications students may
benefit from portions of this lesson.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: The lesson plan is clearly articulated. Learning outcomes and instructions are
easy to follow. The focus on specific target markets with an article idea is
also good. Students would be required to work in teams.
Concerns: Writing articles and role playing the various roles held within a magazine go
beyond the curriculum of many business and marketing classes. There may not be
enough time during a typical undergraduate semester as this is such a
comprehensive project that requires adequate guidance from the instructor.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.8 stars
Strengths: The topic of specialized magazines and what goes into reaching a target market
are important discussions.
Concerns: As written, the lesson plan may be too elementary for many college classes.
However, an instructor can supplement the lesson plan or simply have a
discussion of the issues it raises.

A danger in this module is that students may merely mimick the design and layout
of a current magazine, without really contemplating it themselves. Even this,
though, would be educational, since students are forced to identify important
components of a magazine.

Although grading this exercise is not overly complicated, imparting corrections
could be very time consuming and daunting for the instructor. Also, the style
of writing for a magazine is markedly different than business writing.

Students should be required to complete, for example, a Creative Brief similar
to that employed in advertising agencies before undertaking the project. This
allows students to have a more complete understanding of the target market.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Simple, easy to understand for both students and faculty. Appropriate guidance
would need to be provided by the instructor throughout the duration of the
Concerns: The time involved in doing this project correctoy may be enormous. The reward
for the exercise must be tempered by the time involved. A small version of the
magazine should suffice, unless the groups are very large. Unless layout and
design is an important goal, creating an article and advertisement for the
target market offers similar benefits.

Other Issues and Comments:

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States