It’s All about the Money: Commercial Influences in Women’s Lifestyle Magazines in Singapore

Lydia Cheng, Edson C. Tandoc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A consequence of the digitisation of the media is the rapidly transforming business models of news organisations. While many studies have looked at how news journalists and newspapers deal with the changing relationship between editorial and commerce, less attention has been paid to how this relationship has evolved in lifestyle publications. This study examines the extent to which lifestyle journalists from women’s magazines experience commercial pressures, how they handle such pressures, and how economic influences are reflected in the content they produce. Based on interviews with journalists from Singaporean women’s magazines and supported by a textual analysis of the content of these magazines, the results show that commercial influences have increased drastically and have led to changes in the conceptualisation of professional identity and editorial outputs. These journalists are subject to overwhelming economic pressures that they find difficult to challenge, and thus frequently succumb to advertiser demands, leading to severe compromises on the integrity of their content. Furthermore, for younger journalists especially, there appears to be a sense of disillusionment caused by the mismatch between their journalistic expectations and the realities of their work. The findings from this study pose some serious implications on how we can understand journalism practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • advertising
  • commercial
  • influences
  • interviews
  • Lifestyle journalism
  • magazine journalism
  • textual analysis
  • women’s magazines

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