How were American newspapers printed before electrification

The history of the illustrated magazines Bunte, Quick, Stern and Revue from 1948 to 1970

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. What are magazines?
1. Attempt at a definition
2. General design features

III. Review of the history magazines
1. From the 19th century to the occupation
1. 1. The beginnings of the illustrated press
1.2. The illustrated magazines in the Weimar Republic
1.3. Press and magazines in the Third Reich
2. The press during the occupation
2.1. General developments
2.2. The appearance of the magazines
2.3. The establishment of the illustrated magazine Das Ufer

IV. The development of the illustrated magazines 1948-1970
1. The establishment phase of the magazines (1948-1957)
1.1. General developments
1.2. The magazines and their editions
1.3. The bank becomes a colorful magazine
1.4. The magazines in public criticism
2. The growth phase of the magazines (1957-1970)
2.1. General developments
2.2. Concentration movements in the press
2.3. The magazines and their editions
2.4. The development of the colorful
2.5. Attempts to self-control the magazines

V. Summary

VI. bibliography

I. Introduction

“All magazines, including the apolitical ones, are instruments of social integration. They connect people with each other. They create a platform for those who have something to say that is more far-reaching than a lectern. They have a say in the intellectual and political climate of the nation. They are as colorful and diverse as life itself. We find the most precious and mean in the forest of leaves. What is printed out into the world can lead or seduce people for good and bad. "[1]

This quote from Kluthe in 1969 indicates, on the one hand, the social significance of magazines, which they have acquired through their development into a mass medium, and, on the other hand, their responsibility to society as a whole. Accordingly, every type of magazine offers a platform for mass media communication that offers the individual the opportunity to express himself or to get information in a modern and democratic society. This educational and information function of the media is necessary for the individual in the context of the social communication process in order to find their way around the complex web of our technological society.[2] The constitutional sanctioning and institutionalization of the press organs for the first time in the history of Germany under Article 5 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of 1948 takes this into account and elevates the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press to the rank of a human right.[3] The far-reaching reorganization of the press in the Third Reich may well have been remembered as a warning example, when the press was no longer an independent, political force, but as an instrument of propaganda, of influencing and educating the people in the spirit of National Socialism and for journalistic preparation foreign policy successes has been used.

Nevertheless, in addition to their public function, the magazines also fulfill the function of providing the reader with entertainment. That this offer is valued and used is shown by the diversity of the weekly magazines, which also do well in an international comparison.[4] In 1994 a total of 554 general-interest magazines appeared in the Federal Republic of Germany, with a total circulation of 125.9 million copies, while the daily newspaper circulation was 30.5 million. Of this total circulation of the magazines, almost fifty percent came from the large publishers Bauer, Burda and Gruner + Jahr, which together published 69 of the 554 titles.[5]

As you can see from these numbers, three publishers are playing a major role in the consumer magazine sector. What they have in common is the fact that they were founded shortly after the Second World War and the fact that they laid the cornerstone of their economic success with the publication of the first illustrated magazines in the post-war period, among other things.

For this reason I would like to examine the development of the four magazines in the following investigation Colorful, revue, star and Quick trace from 1948 to 1970. After attempting a definition, I will look back at the beginnings of the illustrated magazines up to the end of the Third Reich in order to briefly illuminate the new beginnings of the illustrated press during the occupation. I divided the subsequent analysis of the history of the development of the magazines from 1948 to 1970 into two phases. A first part includes the Establishment phase[6]whose starting and ending points are marked by the end of the immediate post-war period in 1948 on the one hand and the beginning of the concentration movements on the magazine market in 1957 on the other. The second part describes the Growth phase[7] of illustrated magazines between 1957 and 1970 as part of the general press concentration. In both parts, I would first like to address generally relevant social and media-specific developments in order to get to the bottom of changes in circulation volumes and thematic structures. One focus should be the investigation of the history of the Colorful form, on which individual aspects of the history of the development of the illustrated magazines are again exemplified.

II. What are magazines?

1. Attempt at a definition

The diverse and very different approaches[8], the press product magazine to be described in more detail testify on the one hand to an uncertainty in the definition of the phenomenon, but on the other hand to its typological abundance. The most important finding is that the magazine “A functional, structural, thematic or social one Limitation "[9] towards the newspaper subject. In this context, Walter Hagemann suggests two definitions and the general concept of magazine according to their readership Popular magazines and Trade journals to separate.[10] If you follow Lehmann here, it is at Popular magazines around

“The high-circulation magazines, the content of which is thematically not limited at all or at least only so far that it can also be understood by non-specialists and outsiders, (...) which in principle are not limited by profession, class or membership , but to the broadest possible audience, (...) who are less dedicated to education and instruction, but more to employment without consideration of benefit, to distraction and entertainment. "[11]

This set of so-called general-interest magazines described here does not represent a group that is essentially identical to itself, but rather is characterized by heterogeneity. For this reason, the IVV distinguishes four subgroups, the magazines, entertainment, family, film and radio magazines, women, fashion and society magazines, cultural, political, ideological, denominational magazines, as well as youth magazines and sports , Bathing, travel and leisure magazines.[12]

Further defining characteristics of the illustrated magazines are according to Lehmann

“A weekly publication, the news section of which consists of a large number of pictures with brief explanations that report on recent news. In addition to this current picture reporting, there are features, series of articles and serial novels, which for their part are often brought to life again through images. Humor in words and pictures (...) as well as puzzles are also part of the content of the magazines. "[13]

In summary, it can first be stated that Magazines to appear periodically, in the most common cases weekly Popular magazines acts, which address a wide audience in order to serve this primarily for diversion. The choice of topics does not seem restricted, but is based on the aspects of universality and topicality. The media is at the center of the reporting picture.

2. General design features

Illustrated are like the word already[14] indicates Picture sheets. Accordingly, the main design feature of the illustrated magazine is the illustration as a means of illustrating journalistic statements in the text.[15] An illustration can be, for example, a drawing, graphic, photo, photomontage or image reproduction and can have an explanatory, supplementary, decorative or instructive character.[16] With the invention of the camera, the photo found its way into a wide variety of press products, including the daily newspaper. Thus, photo journalism is not a specific feature of the magazines, but rather, as Hermann Boventer puts it, "a continuous basic feature of our 'optical' age today"[17].

Next to the picture is another important design principle, the Topicalityfollowed by the frequently encountered subtitle The actual or current indicates[18]. Although daily news is assumed to be known, since the weekly magazines can never compete with the information advantage of the daily newspapers, they often develop the ambition, not only in terms of content, but also in terms of time Topicality to suffice[19], which must be taken into account when selecting all other design elements. Both the topics of the reporting and the photos are further characterized by the Identification value[20]that they own for potential readers. In order for a topic to become the subject of a report in an illustrated magazine, it must be photographable and up-to-date on the one hand, but also offer an appropriate projection surface for the reader's values, wishes and ideas on the other.[21]

Despite this predominant universality of the subject, the Current magazines[22] characterized by a vast number of accounts of human problems, fates, and celebrities. Political topics are not excluded, in order to find the right combination of topics, the "colorful mix" of "curiosities and sensations from all over the world"[23] to guarantee.

Since the presentation determines the publicity and thus the willingness to buy, optically well-prepared, bold and colored front pages should help to win the weekly battle at the kiosk. Mostly, magazines are produced on high-quality paper and in the best print quality, with the text part being partially printed and the advertising part predominantly printed in color.

In terms of circulation figures, the four generally entertaining weekly titles are among the classic magazines after a series of discontinuations, mergers and sales since the 1950s (and some to this day) Colorful, Quick, New Revue and star.

III. Review of the history magazines

1. From the 19th century to the occupation

1. 1. The beginnings of the illustrated press

In the 19th century one can distinguish two genres in the illustrated press: the family paper and the magazine. As the first representative of the modern magazines is considered Leipziger Illustrirte Zeitung, which was founded in 1843[24]. It already showed the characteristics of the modern magazines and stood out clearly from the family magazines such as The gazebo, At home or Home (1864, Velhagen and Klasing). While the family paper served not only to provide entertainment but also to educate and educate the family, the illustrated magazine aimed to provide entertainment and up-to-date news based on the daily press by means of photo reports. Visually, they differed in format, as the magazines were mainly published in folio and the family newspapers mainly in quarto format.[25]

1.2. The illustrated magazines in the Weimar Republic

However, the heyday of the magazines began after the First World War. From the mid-twenties onwards, the daily newspapers also followed the increased need for visual observation and began to publish photos on a regular basis. In addition, they offered their readers illustrated weekly supplements[26]which were similar in appearance to the classic magazines. At first it was the high-circulation big city titles like that Berliner Tageblattthat the World mirror published, small and medium-sized newspapers increasingly brought out illustrated supplements, so that in 1925 approx. 2000 German daily newspapers published weekly supplements.[27] In the case of the smaller newspapers, these supplements were produced externally for technical and economic reasons, so that the political direction of the respective newspaper could not influence the illustrated supplements. The entertainment function came first here.

As the weekly supplements became more widespread, the magazines slowly changed their function. In terms of content, the bourgeois magazines were marked by a great interest in technical innovations, a pronounced need for entertainment, an interest in reports from foreign countries and a need for sensation and eroticism.[28] The reporting revolved around the life of the upper classes: There were reports about the former rulers as a continuation of the court reports from the imperial era, as well as the stars from sports, film and entertainment. The entertainment aspect was supplemented by the serial novel and the puzzle and humor corner. There was little space left for current, social and political reporting.

The trendsetter of this new reporting in the Weimar period was Berliner Illustrirte Zeitungwhich was published once a week from December 14, 1891 to April 3, 1945 in Berlin by Hepner & Co (from 1984 by Ullstein). In the design, the current reporting was particularly emphasized, whereby elements typical of the family paper were avoided. In the Berliner Illustrirten Zeitung It was the first German illustrated magazine with a circulation of millions, which reached its peak in 1930 with a circulation of 1,850,000. Characteristic for the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung was that it had to sell new in the market every week, i.e. via subscription or street sales. As a result, the form and content were primarily determined by the nature of the goods, their quality as an advertising medium and as an entertainment medium. The practical value that a magazine has as an information medium and orientation aid increased the more precisely it was tailored to its target group.[29]

1.3. Press and magazines in the Third Reich

With the takeover of power by the National Socialists, the entire press system was restructured in the sense of general conformity. Various laws and regulations issued between 1933 and 1936[30] wrote the magazines and newspapers not only a "single line for economic, cultural and political representation"[31] but also regulated the ratio of the advertising part to the editorial part.[32] These and other drastic measures[33] led in the course of the global economic crisis to a decline in magazine titles and thus also in magazines. In 1934, eleven illustrated magazines were counted for the entire territory of the Reich, with a total circulation of around 4.3 million. In 1939 twelve titles appeared with a total circulation of around 6.3 million. As a result of three shutdowns, the number of German magazines fell from 4,789 to 458 in the war years between 1939 and 1945.[34] The paper allotments during the war made the situation of the magazines even more difficult,[35] so that in October 1944 only seven magazine titles were counted, of which in fact only two existed independently, the Illustrated sheet and the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, since the other magazines are editorially linked to Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung were connected.[36] After the collapse of the Third Reich and the short period of total press bans by the Allies, there were already twelve magazine titles in the four occupation zones in 1947.

2. The press during the occupation

2.1. General developments

According to the guidelines of Manual for the Control of German Information Services dated May 12, 1945[37] With the unconditional surrender of Germany, all German media ceased their publication for an indefinite period of time and were replaced by Allied media.[38] The so-called Army group newspapers originated first in the ABZ. Later, the French and British also took part in this non-partisan company[39], while the SBZ took a special route. It was there that cadres began their work who had received journalistic training from German communists in exile as early as 1943.[40] A German People's Newspaper should initially take on the task of democratic education three times a week, later daily.[41] The Americans stopped the army group newspapers in their area by November 1945 in order to allow German licensed newspapers. The licensing phase was as varied as the time and subject matter of the press policy of the zones up to the licensing press. As the first newspaper of the Western Allies, the Frankfurter Rundschau registered in the ABZ, which appeared on August 1, 1945. Already on May 15th the was in Berlin Daily review launched by the Soviets. The will follow on September 26th Nouvelles de France, while in the BBZ The world was not allowed to appear until April 2, 1946.[42] By the end of the license period, 56 newspapers had been published in 45 locations with a total circulation of 6.43 million copies.[43]

“Unlike the army group newspapers, the licensed press was supposed to dissuade the German civilian population from their 'currently unhealthy state of mind', the perplexed apathy and reluctance to admit guilty to war and Nazi crimes.[44]

In terms of content, denazification and re-education formed the focus of press policy, with the individual media being both an object and a means of democratization efforts by the occupying powers.


[1] Kluthe, H.A .: The magazine in public life. In: Dovifat, Emil (ed.): Handbook of Journalism. Vol. 3: Practical journalism. Part 2. Berlin 1969. pp. 421-426. Here p. 422.

[2] See Schelsky, Helmut: In search of reality. Düsseldorf / Cologne 1965. p.315.

[3] Article 5 "(1) Everyone has the right to freely express and disseminate his or her opinion in words, writing and images and to obtain information unhindered from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting through radio and film are guaranteed. Censorship does not take place. (2) These rights find their limits in the provisions of general laws, the statutory provisions for the protection of young people and in the right to personal honor. " Bavarian State Center for Political Education Munich (Hg): Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria. Basic Law of the Federal Republic. Augsburg 1993. p.113.

[4] See Schulz, Rüdiger: Use of newspapers and magazines. In: Wilke, Jürgen (ed.): Media history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Bonn 1999. pp. 401-425. Here page 422.

[5] See the appendix in Wilke, Jürgen (ed.): Media history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Bonn 1999. pp. 778 and 792.

[6] See Hilgenstock, Sabine: The story of BUNTEN (1948-1988). The development of an illustrated weekly magazine with a chronicle of this type of magazine. European university publications. Vol. 33. Frankfurt a.M. 1993. pp.14f.

[7] See ibid.

[8] For an overview of the term "magazine", see Kieslich, Günther: Term. . In: Dovifat, Emil (ed.): Handbook of Journalism. Vol. 3: Practical journalism. Part 2. Berlin 1969. pp.370-383.

[9] Ibid. P.376.

[10] Compare with Hagemann, Walter: Newspaper or magazine? On the definition of the periodical press. In: Stamm, Willy (ed.): Guide to the press and advertising 1951. Essen 1951. p.15f.

[11] Quoted from Noelle- Neumann, Elisabeth: The Fischer Lexicon: Journalism. Frankfurt a.M. 1971. p. 234.

[12] See ibid.

[13] Lehmann, Ernst-Herbert: Illustrated. In: Heide, Walter (ed.): Handbook of Newspaper Science. Bd.I. Leipzig 1940. Sp. 1775-1797. Sp. 1775.

[14] lat .: illustrare means illuminate, brighten, but also bring to light, reveal.

[15] Koszyk, Kurt: Journalism dictionary. Munich 1976. p. 136.

[16] Cf. Meyer's Encyclopedic Lexicon. 9th ed. Vol. 12. Mannheim 1974. p. 470.

[17] Boventer, Hermann: The magazines. In: Dovifat, Emil (ed.): Handbook of Journalism. Vol. 3: Practical journalism. Part 2. Berlin 1969. pp. 536-446. Here page 537.

[18] Compare with Holzer, Horst: Magazines and Society. On the political content of “Quick”, “Revue” and “Stern”. Freiburg i.Br. 1967. p.28ff.

[19] See ibid.

[20] Boventer. P.539.

[21] Ibid. P.538.

[22] Quoted from Noelle-Neumann. P. 234

[23] Boventer. P.539.

[24] It existed from July 1, 1843 to 1943 and was published by Johann Jakob Weber. In 1925 a circulation of 35,000 copies was recorded.

[25] Compare with Hilgenstock. P.33f.

[26] Cf. Macias, José: The evolution of photojournalism. Munich, 1990. p. 6

[27] See Marckwardt, Wilhelm: The magazines of the Weimar period. Journalistic function, economic development and tendencies in terms of content (including a bibliography of this press type 1918 - 1932). Munich 1982. p.100f. and p.127f.

[28] Marckwardt puts the content preferences listed here in connection with the experience of isolation as the effect of war and inflation and a need to catch up on sensuality and entertainment through the war years. Compare with Marckwardt. P.102 ff. On the aestheticization of technology cf. Photo journalism in the Weimar Republic. In: Photo story. 13th year (1984). P.27-40. Here p 29f.

[29] Compare with Kerbs, Diethart: The illustrated press at the end of the Weimar Republic. In: Kerbs, Diethart, Stahr, Henrick (eds.): Berlin 1932: the last year of the first German republic. 1992. p.73f.

[30] The Reich Chamber Culture Act dated September 22, 1933, the Reichsschriftleitergesetz of October 4, 1933, as well as the Decree on the establishment ban for magazines of December 13, 1933 and the Order of the President of the Reich Press Chamber to preserve the independence of magazine publishing of April 30, 1936. See Haacke, Wilmont: The magazine-writing of the time. Essen 1961. p.279. and Kirchner, Hans-Martin: History of the magazine: From 1900 to the present. In: Dovifat, Emil (ed.): Handbook of Journalism. Vol. 3: Practical journalism. Part 2. Berlin 1969. pp. 408-420. Here page 417.

[31] Ibid.

[32] See ibid.

[33] For example, the prohibition of private sponsorship of newspapers and magazines by associations or foundations. See ibid.

[34] Compare with Haacke. P.79.

[35] See Kirchner on this. P.417.

[36] Compare with Hilgenstock. P.35.

[37] This guideline, adopted by the four victorious powers, referred to Law 191 of November 24, 1944 and coordinated the media control of the Allies in post-war Germany. Compare with Koszyk, Kurt: Press under Allied occupation. In: Wilke, Jürgen (ed.): Media history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Bonn 1999. pp. 31-58. Here page 32.

[38] See ibid. P.36.

[39] Germans were involved in the editorial work in all cases in order to have trained staff for the planned license press. See ibid. P.37.

[40] See ibid. P.34.

[41] See ibid. P.35.

[42] See ibid. P.39.

[43] See ibid. P.41.

[44] Ibid. P.41.

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