Checking the Pulse of Print Media: Fifty Years of Newspaper and Magazine Advertising Research

Gergely Nyilasy

University of Melbourne

Karen Whitehill King and Leonard N. Reid

Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia

Insights from

Scott C. McDonald

Condé Nast


The development of advertising as a national marketing communications force is linked directly to the rise of daily mass-circulation newspapers in the 1880s and mass-circulation magazines in the 1890s (Beniger, 1986). Though newspapers served as a local and retail advertising medium long before the 1880s, the emergence of newspapers and magazines as mass media in the late nineteenth century allowed marketers of branded goods and services to reach (and communicate with) mass audiences across space and time. Until the arrival of broadcasting with radio in 1922, newspapers and magazines dominated national advertising planning and played early and prominent roles in ushering in the age of mass communication and mass marketing (Beniger). Today, newspapers and magazines still are important media, though their places in the advertising landscape have been altered significantly by the economic, social, and technological changes of the last 120 years.