4th Edition

The Magazines Handbook

By Jenny McKay Copyright 2019
    370 Pages
    by Routledge

    370 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Magazines Handbook is an introductory guide to all aspects of magazine journalism and publishing. The book explores the latest innovations in digital design and delivery, whilst also reaffirming the continued importance of key journalistic skills, including good interviewing, feature writing and news writing. The book includes chapters on the visual aspects of magazines, such as illustration and picture editing, and chapters covering the business background of this increasingly global industry. Jenny McKay offers tips on training and work experience as well as outlining the function of various editorial jobs. Profiles of four young journalists give a flavour of life in the early years of a career.

    Chapters include:

    • advice on embarking on a career in magazine journalism;
    • an overview of magazine design and the production process;
    • analysis of the state of the magazine industry today, with a look to its future;
    • a discussion of legal issues related to magazine journalism;
    • a glossary of key terms and recommended reading in every chapter.


    Now in its fourth edition, The Magazines Handbook offers a nuanced and reflective account of periodical journalism, ideal for students of journalism and budding professionals who are seeking a useful starting point for wide-ranging academic discussion about magazines.

    List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Training for magazine journalism Chapter 3: Jobs and careers in magazine journalism Chapter 4: Freelance journalism Chapter 5: Ideas and information Chapter 6: Writing: where to start Chapter 7: News writing Chapter 8: Features writing Chapter 9: Interviews 1: chasing the quotes Chapter 10: Interviews 2: chasing the stars Chapter 11: Subediting and production Chapter 12: Magazines in the digital world by Tim Holmes Chapter 13: Magazine design by Tim Holmes Chapter 14: Magazine illustration and picture editing by Phil Cullen with Tom Ang Chapter 15: The business of magazine publishing Chapter 16: The magazine industry Chapter 17: Issues of conduct Chapter 18: The magazine journalist and the law by Carole Watson with Linda Ventry (Scots law); Glossary; Bibliography; Index


    Jenny McKay studied medieval English at Oxford University, UK, where she edited the student magazine Isis. As a journalist she worked in magazines, newspapers and television, as well as international charities. She has taught magazine journalism in several universities while developing her research into literary journalism.

    ‘As the industry becomes increasingly polarised (it’s over! No, it’s a new golden age!), this is a timely, clear-eyed, in-depth and useful analysis of the science and dark arts that combine to create a great magazine.’Ian Birch, former Editorial Director of Hearst and EMAP

    ‘Jenny McKay's Magazines Handbook has long been the very best beacon to guide students and practitioners through the complexities of the magazine publishing profession. In the light of the turmoil of the industry in the Digital Age, the updated Fourth Edition is especially welcome. It offers real-world answers to virtually every question about the craft of writing, editing, designing and publishing magazines.’ David Abrahamson, Professor of Journalism and Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, USA

    ‘The Magazines Handbook is the comprehensive guide to succeeding in the industry. New case studies of young journalists highlight the contemporary skills needed to work across freelance, permanent and editorial roles, while McKay ensures every sector of magazine publishing is covered. The Handbook comes first on my class reading lists.’ Alex Lockwood, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, University of Sunderland, UK