A recurring media-story theme of 2016 was the debate about the usefulness of reader comments. NPR famously decided to do away with those on its site this summer, followed by Business Insider in the fall.
However, without FishbowlNY reader comments, we may not have learned about a history-making cover in South America featuring globetrotting plus-size model Fluvia Lacerda. A reader at the bottom of our year-end look back at Ashley Graham’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition issue informed us of this.
— navabi (@navabiFashion) December 19, 2016
Lacerda has posed for Torrid, Fashion Bug and Kiabi France. She’s also been featured in Vogue Italy. In Europe, the mother of two is even called the “plus-size Gisele Bündchen.”
On Instagram, Lacerda wrote about the issue, on sale today, that ‘nothing beats celebrating your body however the heck you want!’ Amen to that.
True Love magazine bills itself as an ‘indispensable accessory that inspires, entertains and advises modern African women.’ But the January issue of the South African monthly women’s glossy has proved to be less than inspiring for the person featured on its cover, Bulelwa Mkutukana, who goes by the stage name Zahara.
A photo posted by Bulelwa Mkutukana (@zaharasa) on Dec 19, 2016 at 8:15am PST
Per the Instagram post above and an interview published today in Johannesburg daily newspaper The Times, the popular singer-songwriter is outraged at the main cover line’s use of the word “Drugs:”
“Before the interview we had agreed on what we would talk about. In the interview we talked about hair, body and marriage. I was excited because this was the first time I revealed certain things about my love life but drugs and alcohol was never discussed,” she said.
The singer wants all copies of the magazine removed from shelves. “If they don’t recall this cover today, I will be left with no choice but to take legal action against them. I’m going out this morning to look for magazines and if I find them, I will sue,” she said.
Apparently, True Love has a history of sensational covers. As blogger Phil Mphela reminds in his holiday-interrupting post:
FACT: Zahara posed for True Love knowing full well what the magazine’s history is.
Is it OK for the mag to mislead the public? hell no but you lie with dogs, you cant be surprised when you wake up with fleas. Any celebrity that does a cover for True Love after what they did to other celebrities over and over again should not act all surprised when the same is done to them.
Tweets like the one below are reflective of the larger majority sentiment. At press time, True Love publisher Nikki Ruttimann has yet to respond.
True Love doesn’t give a shit about women or their “stories” …. they just want to sell magazines. Whether they humiliate them or not.
— AKA (@akaworldwide) December 19, 2016
Opening Dec. 20 and running through April 30 at the Getty Center in west Los Angeles, “Breaking News: Turning the Lens on Mass Media” is sure to be a draw for anyone with one or more journalists in the family.
Bianca Silva, a graduate student of journalism at CUNY, had a nice preview piece about the show earlier this month for Time magazine. She chatted with program curator Arpad Kovacs, who chose photo and video installations created by 17 different artists:
Kovacs says he drew inspiration from the works of Donald Blumberg, Robert Heinecken and especially the Modern History works by Sarah Charlesworth, which look into the news coverage of the kidnapping of then Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in the late 1970s.
“She did a few takes on this and the one that we have looks specially at the Vatican newspapers coverage of this event, of this tragedy and of this detailed consciousness at the time,” Kovacs says about her work. “That was the work that got me thinking more broadly about how artists have turned the news as subject matter.”
Other images co-opted for a show highlighting ‘appropriation, juxtaposition, mimicry and other means’ include several 1994 Newsweek covers and a photograph of First Lady Pat Nixon at the White House.
Image of Donald Blumberg’s Television Political Mosaics, 1968-1969,via: getty.edu
At the beginning of February, Dree Hemingway, the great-grandaughter of writer Ernest Hemingway, was revealed as Playboy magazine’s first non-nude centerfold. Two weeks later, Sports Illustrated was heralding Ashley Graham as the annual Swimsuit Edition’s first plus-size cover model. In 2016, for the first time, there were three separate issue covers.
The very first issue of Playboy arrived in December of 1953; the inaugural issue of Sports Illustrated, Aug. 16, 1954; and the first retail version of Photoshop, for Macintosh computers only, hit stores in 1990.
Graham, who hates the term “plus-size,” was extremely proud of the fact that her cover was in no way Photoshopped. As she should be. Her cover followed an advertisement appearance in the 2015 Swimsuit Edition, alongside an inside-page showcase of another plus-size model, the magazine’s first such inclusion of any kind.
The Hemingway centerfold seems less likely to stand the test of landmark time. As Keith J. Kelly reported this fall, burying the lede in fact, while newsstands sales of the U.S. cleaned-up Playboy were up a bit to 47,203, paid subscriptions dropped 23.2% (or nearly 200,000 issues) for the period of March through August. A period kicked off by Hemingway’s centerfold.
The Playboy Entreprises CEO who shepherded the non-nude U.S. website and print magazine approach that is gone; Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper has been handed, by dad, the keys to the U.S. editorial kingdom. And chances are by sometime maybe even as early as February, 2017, the Dree Hemingway-tagged era will affixed with more of an asterisk than an obelisk.
New York Times has hired Theo Balcomb and changed Michael Barbaro‘s role.
Balcomb has joined the Times as a senior producer. She most recently served as a supervising producer for NPR’s All Things Considered.
Barbaro, who most recently hosted the Times podcast The Run-Up, will move to the audio team full-time.
Time Inc. has created a new health and wellness team to “develop products that will fortify our sales leadership position in the health and wellness space,” according to a memo from senior vp, digital, Patty Hirsch.
Colan McGeehan has joined Time Inc. to lead the new team as GM and vp, health and wellness. McGeehan most recently lead business development, original partnerships and revenue for Sharecare.
Natalie D’angelo and Josh Barocas have been named senior directors, health and wellness. Both D’Angelo and Barocas were also most recently with Sharecare.
New York is looking to add a revenue stream with the launch of New York by New York, a premium membership plan.
The program is $99 per year or $9.99 per month. There is also a gift option, available for $25 for three months. Membership with New York by New York includes the usual “insider access” to curated experiences covering a wide array of subjects, from art to fashion to music. There’s also newsletters, a private Instagram feed featuring content from New York editors and recs on shopping, dining, culture and more.
“This program invites our readers to have a closer relationship with our writers and editors, who are true New York City experts,” said David Haskell, New York Media’s editor for business and strategy. “It’s an experiment in making the magazine’s culture, food, and shopping journalism more bespoke and personal — and an exciting new way to bring the magazine’s mission to life.”
Time has published its fifth annual The Year Ahead issue, featuring four different babies on four different covers.
The babies—each born in Greece to Syrian refugee mothers—are part of a yearlong project from Time called Finding Home. For the next year, Time Africa bureau chief Aryn Baker and videographer Francesca Trianni, along with photojournalist Lynsey Addario, will document the life of the babies and their mothers.
“Our goal is to understand the intense and intimate challenges faced by these families,” wrote Time editor Nancy Gibbs, in her editor’s letter. “Our reporting team will follow four of these babies for the next year, being present with the mothers from the delivery room to returning to their tents and managing a newborn in a setting with no hot water or flush toilets, no toys, no place to play. We will follow them through the labyrinthine asylum process and the next journey, wherever it takes them, telling their stories in the magazine, on Time.com and on Facebook, Instagram (@FindingHome) and more.”
Check out the covers below.
Ad Age thinks quite highly of The New Yorker.
Not only is The New Yorker Ad Age’s Magazine of The Year, New Yorker editor David Remnick is Editor of The Year and New Yorker publisher Lisa Hughes is Publisher of The Year.
In an interview with Ad Age, Remnick said Donald Trump’s ascension into the White House makes Remnick’s job more important than ever.
“We have a particular role in this society and in this democracy and it’s to be fair, and pursue the truth energetically and, above all, fearlessly,” said Remnick. “And the biggest job that a democracy provides the press — and you are not always loved for doing it — is to put pressure on power. I know a lot of people read The New Yorker hoping for diversion, for relief, for fun, for comedy, and that won’t stop. I’m not turning the magazine into something it was not before. But when it comes to these central issues, we just have to redouble our efforts to be as tireless and fearless as we hope ourselves to be.”
Merriam-Webster has named “surreal” its Word of The Year. How fitting.
Surreal—an adjective meaning “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; unbelievable”—beat out words like revenant, feckless and bigly. Thanks for that last one, Donald Trump.
Speaking of Trump, Merriam-Webster chose “surreal” because it was searched for many more times in 2016 than in previous years, and it also surged following certain events.
“In March, the word was used in coverage of the Brussels terror attacks,” explained Merriam-Webster. “Then, in July, we saw the word spike again: it was used in descriptions of the coup attempt in Turkey and in coverage of the terrorist attack in Nice. Finally, we saw the largest spike in lookups for surreal following the U.S. election in November.”
So Surreal was looked up most often when people wanted to describe brutal tragedies… and our own presidential election. Sounds about right.
The rumor that Jane Pratt is leaving Time Inc. and hoping to take XoJane and XoVain with her appears to be true.
According to WWD, Pratt is departing the company by the end of the month and Time Inc. has no future plans for XoJane. “We will not be adding new content to xoJane,” said a Time Inc. spokesperson. “We will be folding it into InStyle.com at the end of the year.”
Pratt is hoping to buy the sites back from Time Inc. (which only bought them one year ago) and shuffle them under a new company, like Bustle or Vice.
As we reported last week, both of Detroit’s daily newspapers have thinned out their ranks at year’s end via buyouts. On the Free Press side, one of those opting for the print-media emergency exit is travel writer Ellen Creager, a veteran of 33 years and a travel writer since 2003.
In a fun farewell column published over the weekend, she looks back at some of her stranger and heretofore unrevealed moments as a salaried globetrotter. At one point, she punchlines an anecdote with:
I do believe that to this very day, I am the only Gannett employee ever to file a worker’s comp claim because of frostbite caused by dogsledding.
Ha ha. The assignment that led to this distinction was in Greenland. Other memories from Creager include an unwanted kiss in Tanzania and a touchy time at the Lebanese border. There’s also a funny recurring reply to her editors that Creager would give when asked how everything went, and a nice italicized note at the very end thanking several newspaper colleagues.
Read the full column here.
Drawn from TASCHEN’s limited Collector’s Edition, this monograph explores each of Ai’s career phases up until his release from Chinese custody. It features extensive visual material to trace Ai’s development from his early New York days right through to his recent practice.
Here's some simple math: a year of subscriptions to Photoshop and Illustrator will set you back $360, while Photo and Designer will add up to $100, with upgrades so far having been free. Is the Adobe solution really worth the extra cost to meet your particular needs? We can't answer that question but at least now you have a cross-platform alternative. And with page-layout application Affinity Publisher on the way, 2017 should be a very interesting year.
Posters are by their very nature ephemeral: on a billboard or tacked to a news stand, they last only a few weeks but Art Deco advertising posters are now highly prized by collectors.