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Magazines With A Heart: Happy New Year. 2021 In The Rearview Mirror of 1921

December 31, 2020

Happy New Year. As we say goodbye to 2020, here is an article I wrote for Poynter. It was published on Tuesday Dec. 29, 2020. I hope you will enjoy and I hope 2021 will bring health and mental prosperity to all.

100 years ago, magazines were juggling a pandemic, an election and appalling social injustices. Sound familiar?

A century ago, the world had just gone through the first World War; children around the world were starving; the 1918 influenza pandemic had hit; there was about to be a new president sworn in; and James Coyle, a Catholic priest in Birmingham, Alabama, was shot and killed by Klan member named E.R. Stephenson because the priest was presiding over the wedding of Stephenson’s daughter, Ruth, and Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican man who was working for her father.

A pandemic, an election and social injustices that are appalling and unbelievable. The historical similarities between the world in 1921 and now are extraordinary.

One more thing hasn’t changed. Audiences still want much the same thing from their magazines, as you’ll see in this analysis.

Magazines with a heart

Love. Labor. Liberty. Three ideals that magazines of 1921 celebrated. Three ideals that the country needed at that time. Three ideals that still offer hope today, with love being the most significant.

From the leader in magazines at that time, The Saturday Evening Post, to probably what was the only African American magazine created at that time, W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Crisis, to a hodgepodge of titles that kept the American family educated, entertained and informed, the magazines of 1921 were an important thread in the tapestry of life.

Click here to read the entire article as it appeared on the Poynter’s website.

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