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Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

History of Magazines in Kenya

Category Magazines
Essay type Process
Words 1714 (7 pages)
Views 942

HISTORY OF MAGAZINES IN KENYA Magazines are a form of print media that are printed periodically for a specific group of people with a common interest. Magazine publishing started way back in the 1660s with Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen (Edifying Monthly Discussions) being the first magazine to be published in Germany and in the world as a whole. This was in the year 1663. However, the next magazine that followed was much different than the first. The Gentleman’s Magazine published in1731 in England included more entertainment in form of essays, stories, poems and political commentary.

Magazines then looked like books, printed in black and white. They were merely a channel where literate men passed on their points in the above mentioned forms of entertainment. In 1739, The Scots Magazine was published and is still published up to date though as a daily business newspaper. In the year 1741, the first magazine in America was published and named American Magazine just three days before Benjamin Franklin’s General Magazine was published. Several magazines were then established until in 1933 when the first men’s magazine, Esquire was published.

This was the beginning of special-interest magazines. Further on into the 1950s to 1970s, magazines were inclusive of models gracing their covers. Magazines in Kenya started publishing way back in the 1970s. An example of a magazine published then is Joe Magazine which was founded by Hilary Ng’weno, the publisher and Terry Hirst, the artist. This magazine was full of humour, used art and fiction to narrate cultural, political and social aspects of daily Kenya living. It target was the urban residents but after Ng’weno left in 1974, Hirst tried changing it to include the rural residents as well.

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However, it lost market and shut down in 1979. Ng’weno however did not end his publishing career there. He did some other publishing works such as Weekly Review, which nurtured important personalities such as Hanningtone Gaya. In this era of modernity, magazines are grouped into three; * Consumer magazines: these are sold by subscription and at newsstands, in bookstores and supermarkets. * Industrial, company, and sponsored magazines: are produced by companies specifically for their employees, customers and stockholders and by clubs and associations for their members. Trade, professional, and business magazines: carry stories, features and ads aimed at people in specific professions and are either distributed by the professional organizations themselves or by media companies. (Baran) A lot of magazines have come up in Kenya in this century. These are such as the first men’s magazine in Kenya and East Africa known as HM (His Magazine) which is produced by Media Seven Group(Kenya) Limited. This magazine basically aims for men in between 21-40 years of age and it is all about knowledge and insights men could grasp to better their relationships.

Media Seven Group also produces Her Magazine, Monthly Motor, Mum and Dad, Teen Life, Business Monthly and G Magazine. Other magazines in Kenya are such as Samantha’s Bridal Weddings Magazine, Passion, Pregnant, True Love, Parents (possibly the oldest magazine), The Insyder, Tupike, and Salon among others. SAMANTHA’S BRIDAL WEDDINGS MAGAZINE Samantha’s Bridal Weddings Magazine is a consumer magazine that is based on weddings and acts as a guide for people planning their weddings. It was started in 2005 by Dr. Catherine Masitsa.

The inspiration to begin Samantha’s Bridal Weddings Magazine came from Going Out, a magazine that talked about interesting sites in Kenya. Dr. Catherine Masitsa saw the need for an informative magazine on weddings and all that is involved and thus Samantha’s Bridal Wedding Magazine. However, immediately after Going Out ended, she ventured into Business Woman, another magazine and later Samantha’s Bridal. Samantha’s Bridal Weddings Magazine is the first Kenyan wedding magazine and is named so after Dr. Catherine Masitsa’s mother and because it is “girly” and has a soft touch to it.

PERSONNEL People involved in production of Samantha’s Bridal Magazine are editor at large (Catherine Masitsa), sub editor (Christabel Ododa), creative director, contributors, printers, advertising sales executive, advertising sales coordinator, distributors, photographers, models, make-up artists and advertisers. PROCESS AND PERSONNEL ROLES This magazine’s production technically has four stages. Stage one is research. The editorial team comes up with a blueprint which is the rough outline of what the magazines should look like.

The Blueprint has the themes, how every page should look like, what should be included and who needs what for the magazine to come up. The editors look for material to write about in connection with the theme, enter contractual agreements with the models and photographers and search for venues to build up the magazine. The editor is also involved in copyrighting which basically involves coming up with the words of the theme. In the latest issue of Samantha’s Bridal the theme was Dress trends, the writers thus had to look for something to write on dresses.

The next stage is the design stage. In this stage is where the sub editor puts together the articles, arranges the articles and puts words in the advertisements. The work is then sent to the designer who lays out the tempo and the photos to come up with an authentic layout. After the designer has done his work its back to the editor for proof reading then to the designer again to prepare the artwork for print in PDF format in cd form to send to local printers and in transfer file protocol to send to international printers. The third stage is printing.

The printer makes digital print outs of final look of the magazine which is sent back to the office for approval by the chief editor who has to sign every page. The digital print outs are called proofs. Once the proofs are approved they are sent back to the printers then final printing begins. This process of printing begins when artwork is electronically transformed into a film which is then checked and transformed to the printing plate. The printing plates are then mounted on the web off-set printer which transfers the artwork on paper.

Color separation on the papers is done through a process of colors, “CYMK”. This is cyan, yellow, magenta and black. The pages are mixed with these colors to differentiate between pictures and words. Printing starts with the light colors first and onto the dark colors. The machine sorts the papers from the first to last, binds the magazine and trims it into the size of that particular magazine. The last stage: the distribution of the magazine. Samantha Bridal Magazine uses PDS to distribute their magazine to all their advert clients and to supermarkets all over Kenya.

Samantha’s Bridal Magazine produces 10,000 copies each selling at 495 Kenyan shillings. TREND CHANGE * Comparing magazines today and those in the past, there is evidence of a big difference embraced by the magazine industry. * There is use of more graphics and colored images to brighten and liven up the magazines. * Magazine publishers have ventured into the internet to meet the competition posed by other forms of media. * Publishers now are focused on concentrating on their defined audiences rather than the whole multitude. ETHICS Every magazine has a house style that makes it unique and distinct.

A house style is the set of standards for the writing and design of an organization. House style identifies a particular company. This is seen in the font size, flow of articles, number of pages, size and layout of magazine. The magazine Industry is very cautious in terms of confidentiality and ethics. This is so in that, when a company wants an advertisement design made for them by the designer; it has to be sent back to the company for its approval. The proof is another example of cautiousness where every page has to be signed to show approval before the printer can go ahead.

When a venue for taking photos is chosen the owners of the place have to approve the use of their place as well. Apart from approval by the concerned, magazines rarely face ethical dilemmas in terms of what they write about. This is because, they do not write on real life stories apart from events that have occurred such as parties or dinners. FUNDS Advertisements are what keep a magazine running. Samantha’s Bridal Weddings Magazine has a sales team whose main work is to source for people who want advertisements. The team approaches agencies like Scan group to get companies to advertise with them.

A full page advert cost 185,000 and this is basically how a magazine makes money. GOVERNING BODIES AND REGULATORS Government: it offers licenses to the publishing company of the magazine. For instance, Samantha bridals magazine is licensed to produce the magazine and air the TV show. Editorial style book: it governs how the magazine will look like. It is an organizational book that determines the layout of the magazine. THEORY APPLICATION According to Baran, Social Cognitive Theory states that people learn through observation- and applying it to mass media.

We either imitate what we see or identify with it. When women look through the magazine, others get ideas of how they would want their weddings to be (imitation) while those who are already married appreciate what they see since they know the feeling (identification). CHALLENGES According to Hanningtone Gaya, publisher of the Media Seven Group magazines, these are the challenges magazine publishers in Kenya face; * Kenyan advertisers do not believe in advertising in magazines, therefore there is no advertising revenue to sustain magazine publishing. Kenyans do not like reading books or magazines, which undermines magazine circulation and subscription. * Most magazine publishers carry very shallow articles which are not well researched. * The magazines appear periodically and therefore disappointing to loyal readers, subscribers and advertisers. * The high cost of printing and poor quality in color printing is a major disadvantage in Kenya. { http://www. gvpedia. com/Kenya/Hanningtone-Gaya-Top-Magazines-Publisher. aspx} REFERENCES www. amanthasbridal. co. ke Stanley Murage- Creative Director, Samantha’s Bridal (0720316292) http://www. infoplease. com/ipea/A0154485. html#ixzz1bQvU4EoQ http://www. media7group. com/component/search/magazines%2Bhistory/%252F? ordering=&searchphrase=all http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Joe_%28magazine%29 http://www. gvpedia. com/Kenya/Hanningtone-Gaya-Top-Magazines-Publisher. aspx Baran S. J. , (2010), Introduction to Mass Communication. Media Literacy and Culture, 6th Ed. , McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

History of Magazines in Kenya essay

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