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Thread: Magazines that are still worth reading

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Magazines that are still worth reading

    This week, many of us heard the news that Newsweek would end publication in print at the end of the year, and move to an all-digital format. Many also weren't surprised, seeing how the venerable news magazine shed pages in recent years, and experienced what many felt was a dramatic decline in quality after a recent change in ownership.


    Serious journalism.

    Compared to 10 or 15 years ago, magazines in the United States seem to be getting worse. They're thinner, and it seems like the articles they contain are far less substantial. The Internet is often blamed, but I don't think it can account for the decline in editorial quality that I've seen in publications like Car and Driver, Newsweek, and Time, among others. The excellent investigative journalism and interviews that once graced the pages of Playboy and Penthouse are a thing of the past, making the paper softcore magazines pointless. As your teenage son could tell you, there's no shortage of high-quality nude photography online, much of it free.

    So, in the twilight years of the magazine, what magazines are still worth reading on a regular basis? Why?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    So, in the twilight years of the magazine, what magazines are still worth reading on a regular basis? Why?
    Good question.

    I've noticed the decline of good investigative journalism as well (Greg Palast was even driven out of the U.S.) overall, and not just in magazines. The only mags I subscribe to:
    • Harpers Still high quality writing and thinking in print and few ads.
    • Cook's Illustrated Good talking through of concepts and few ads.
    • National Geographic Still high quality and few ads.

    I'll read some others on-line, but nothing I'd pay for.
    -------
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I like Vanity Fair although it has a crap ton of ads. I generally just peruse it while visiting Barnes & Noble. I get a magazine in the mail called Saudi Aramco World that I really enjoy, it's free and has zero ads and a very nice website.

    Other than that...not much.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    The Economist and Cooking Light.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Mental Floss is a favorite of mine.
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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    I subscribe to Garden Gate, a gardening magazine with virtually no ads that has a lot of articles on garden design because I actually read it cover to cover. I also buy individual copies of National Geographic, Family Circle, Woman's Day, and Everyday with some frequency. I occasionally buy special interest magazines like Mother Earth News, Hobby Farm, Western Horseman, Civil War Times if an article catches my eye at the mag rack.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I enjoy Wired, though they now have an iPad version (but for the same price I think). I used to really like the "popular" ones like Mechanics and Science but thumbed through one while waiting recently and they seem to have lost their scope. Nothing beats Planning for the reading room though it's about the only time it has my undivided attention.
    @GigCityPlanner

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    We get The New Yorker magazine. The cartoons and the cartoon contest alone are worth the cost. The articles are written for thoughtful readers. No dumbing down. The last time I picked up a Newsweek, it was unbearable.

  10. #10
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    -Sports Illustrated... but that is pretty iffy anymore.

    - Food and Wine Magazine.
    - Wine Enthusiast
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  11. #11
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I subscribe to The Atlantic and The New Yorker and I think both of those are still pretty consistently great. I also subscribe to Esquire. It's usually worthless but every once in a while they will have a good longer article and it's often possible to find subscription deals for Esquire for about $3 a year.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    Mental Floss is a favorite of mine.
    Ditto!

    I also subscribe to Archeology.

    Texas Monthly is pretty good. I don't read it every month, but when I see it at B&N, I read it.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I gave up on the news magazines many, many years ago. Now I will buy copies of special interest magazines to read at the coffee shop or when I travel. Backpacker, Bark, Natural Dog, and a handful of gardening magazines are the usual suspects. I also get several free magazines that are work-related, such as National Eal Estate Investor or Retail Traffic. These usually have a few short articles worth reading. Lastly, there are the magazines I get as a member of organizations. These are Preservation and Planning. One is well written, interesting, and read cover to cover. The other is Planning.
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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    As far as general circulation magazines that are still worth the paper they are printed on, I'd have to go with National Geographic, The Economist and Rolling Stone.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Ditto National Geographic. And The Atlantic.

    Going through the exercise of figuring out which magazines are still worth the paper they are printed on, has made me realize the vast majority of magazines were never worth squat to begin with
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  16. #16
    Yet another vote for National Geographic. Though they are not for everyone, National Wildlife Federation for the pix and the cause,
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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I get a couple journals and trade mags but nothing else. The last magazine I dropped was National Geographic because they too were getting more commercial content and I felt like their articles were not just as well written as they had been in the past.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    I still think National Geographic is good.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Pro Wrestling Illustrated is still an excellent publication. Lots of wonderful pictures and insightful articles that capture much of the sturm und drang that is professional wrestling.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    I still think National Geographic is good.
    I also still get This Old House, and Old House Journal.
    Trusting a DC politician with your money is like trusting a hungry dog with a raw steak.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    I still think National Geographic is good.
    Good but not great. Anyway, I've got a lot of back issues on cd. otterpop might want to buy a few photos for his son.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    National Geographic Traveler is still good.

    I subscribe to a couple of regional and special interest publications that I enjoy. Somehow we also ended up with a free subscription to Outside. It's not bad, but I probably wouldn't pay for it.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Pro Wrestling Illustrated is still an excellent publication. Lots of wonderful pictures and insightful articles that capture much of the sturm und drang that is professional wrestling.
    I agree. I get this one as well as Mudder, the magazine for off-road pick-up drivers. Outlaw Biker is good too.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  24. #24
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I agree. I get this one as well as Mudder, the magazine for off-road pick-up drivers. Outlaw Biker is good too.
    Yes, another publication which has steadfastly maintained consistency with regards to editorial quality over the years is Easy Rider.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    We get Time (which is still acceptable) and Dwell (which is quite good)
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

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