Magazines gave us plenty to talk about this year, from controversial covers, articles, closures and more.
So before we toast and resolve our way into a new year, let’s take a moment and look back at the highs and lows of 2012.
1. Time’s “Are You Mom Enough?” Cover. We won’t soon forget this shocking image of a mother breastfeeding her 4-year-old. It was enough to dominate the headlines—print, broadcast, social and otherwise—for weeks, and it should be expected live on in controversial cover lists for a lot longer.
2. The Atlantic’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” Article. Ah, yes, the response to the age-old—if not stereotypical—question. The cover story article concludes that women can’t have both a successful career and time to be a doting parent. But haven’t dads been doing that for years?
3. Hail to the Chief—in Magazines. President Obama graced the cover of many a magazine en route to his re-election this year, and then he graced some more. But some took issue with his time spent with non-traditional news titles, like Glamour and Vanity Fair, and not the White House press corps.
4. Sports Illustrated’s “We Were Penn State” Cover. The Sandusky child sex abuse scandal served as a horrific reminder that sports—specifically football—isn’t everything. But to judge the entire university for the transgressions of a relative few and (again) by football alone was uncalled for.
5. 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. The country’s best athletes graced the likes of Time, Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Fitness and more. But it was Sports Illustrated’s social media accounts that ired some for leaking event outcomes and medal results and ending the anticipation of the tape-delayed airing.
6. Speaking of Social… As tablet and mobile device usage soars, print magazines are scrambling to find ways to stay in front of readers—particularly since an MPA study says social is doing more to boost magazine readership than hurt it. Enter People magazine’s recently released app or Esquire’s upcoming TV channel.
7. Hurricane Sandy. For the city that never sleeps, parts of the New York area were forced to when the superstorm hit New England. Among the blackout and destruction, many publications scrambled to get to print, and even in the midst of the chaos, New York Magazine delivered a stunning cover image.
8. Seventeen Magazine Anti-Photoshop Petition. Teens may have body image issues, but the next generation intends to do something about it. A group of young readers urged Seventeen and Teen Vogue to use untouched photos of real girls instead of outrageously retouched images—and they (sort of) agreed.
9. However… Magazines and Photoshop controversies go hand in hand. Despite the teen magazines’ pledge, the publishing world will still be questioned about Christina Aguilera’s Lucky or Lady Gaga’s Vogue covers and whether that really was Britney Spears’ hair.
10. Digital Takeover. OK, so it’s not as nearly as bleak as it sounds, but the publishing world lost a longtime news icon and a few of our favorites to the digital world. Newsweek, Everyday Food and Whole Living were just the latest casualties to cease printing with the promise of living on online.