New Idea – the magazine not a new thought

I happened to pick up a couple of New Idea from 1977 for a Twitter friend, Jen as I know she’s collecting them and I won’t tell you what she does with them, maybe she’ll explain on her own blog or write me another article about the issue. I happened to glance inside and noticed many differences to the current New Idea so I had a squiz at a new one as well and collated the results.

The current is one actually from last year but it’s current enough. The first thing I noticed is that it’s all in colour while the one from 1977 is mostly in black and white with a few ads in colours, I bet those colour ads cost the earth. In 2009 there were nine articles about famous people and each one was fairly lengthy, going into great detail about what they do, why they’re famous and why they’re in this issue while 1977 only had three articles and some of the articles were about multiple people. Each one only had one article on ordinary people and Mere Male was prevalent in both. Four pages of mindgames in 2009 with none in 1977, four pages of recipes in 2009 and only three in 1977, one page of letters in each issue. Two beauty article in 2009 and only one in 1977. 2009 there were two articles about animals and seven miscellaneous articles while in 1977 there was one article about plants, two craft articles, one about medical issues, one fiction story and an eight page liftout about baby care.

I noticed 1977 has a lot more variety and their word count looks to be higher per article than 2009. They have few pictures and lots of words while 2009 has a large picture with most articles. The articles are also far more people friendly and less sensationalist. In 1977 there was an article about a Federal Minister’s wife balancing her budget which was fairly quiet in tone and very much in the times of a woman being in the home looking after the family while 2009 has an article on a family which has 11 kids under the age of seven, it does mention the size of their shopping list, it’s also very much in today’s language I wouldn’t say the language is sensationalist but it isn’t as laid back as the one from 1977.

It’s very interesting to sit down and read the articles about the famous people. Today’s magazines tend to be a little sensationalist and tend to not put in as much detail as they have so many photos.

It’d be very interesting to have an expert take a magazine or two from each decade and make a proper study of them to see how much things have change. I do think some of the articles from 1977 were much better than today.

2 thoughts on “New Idea – the magazine not a new thought

  1. Norlin

    I think the reason why magazines articles are more about sensationalism is because they want to attract more readers. Especially when it comes to magazines like New Idea, Womens Day and the like. It’s all about celebrity. It’s about quick reading. And in this day and age I guess many would rather flip through such magazines. That’s why there are other much better ones out there with articles that have more clout than just celebrity gossip. Madison, Marie Claire – the thicker ones are usually slightly better.

    1. suzsspace

      Yes, that’s true, they’re always trying to attract more readers. It’s just a real pity we need to make it all about celebrity.

      Aha, now this is something I would never have known as I don’t read any of those magazines. Actually, I don’t read magazines. The last time I bought a brand new Women’s Weekly I took it to the op shop six months later, unopened. I just forgot about it. So it’s good to know there are decent magazines around.

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