Magazines Matter: Vol. 9 - June 2011

June is Pride month for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Gay magazines like Out and Instinct reflected that, but one of the big issues spotlighted by a few mainstream periodicals was the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Economist had on its June 4th issue the headline, "The End of AIDS?" Inside, the editors recognize that "On June 5th 1981 America's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported the outbreak..." The editors also state, "The 30th Anniversary of the disease's discovery has been taken by many as an occasion for hand-wringing. Yet the war on AIDS is going far better than anyone dared hope."

Essence had Alicia Keys on the cover and inside was a cover story by Jeannine Amber. The sidebar to that cover story was about Keys' Keep a Child Alive organization that raises funds for women and children impacted by HIV/AIDS. Ericka Souter followed in the back pages with four stories on various black people affected by the disease in her piece called "HIV: 30 Years Later."

Black Enterprise listed 100 of the nation's largest black businesses. Its the mag's 39th Annual Report on Black Business. World Wide Technology with David L. Steward as CEO was at the top of its industrial and service companies. Oprah Winfrey's Harpo, Inc. was #12.

Time magazine had a couple of great movie reviews by Richard Corliss. Corliss' piece on the June 6th issue "Tree Believer" dealt with the latest Terrence Malick film. It was probably not as excellent as Anthony Lane's review of Malick's The Tree of Life! Corliss' piece in the June 13th issue though was on Super 8, the new summer blockbuster by JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg.

Entertainment Weekly had Jeff Jensen's cover story on its June 17th issue also on the JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg ventur. Jensen's article labeled the two filmmakers "Kids At Heart." June 3rd's book was a Special Double Issue announcing the Best of Summer and a selection of "106 Things You Will Love" with four cover photos of Jason Bateman. Several pages were dedicated to Harry Potter and Breaking Bad. The real best was Stephen King's "My Summer Reading List."

The New Yorker had a special Summer Fiction Issue that was a double issue too for June 13th and 20th. It included works from George Saunders, "Home," as well as Junot Diaz, "The Money," and Jhumpa Lahiri's "Trading Stories."

Wired didn't do a double issue. But, its June book was a special report produced with NPR's Planet Money. It was called "The Smartest Jobs." Popular Science was all about inventions. Its June book was dubbed "5th Annual Inventions of the Year."

Ebony magazine was a special issue in June too. It was its Music Issue. The editors pointed out that June was Black Music Month. Jill Scott, the R&B star from Philadelphia, was on the cover with a story by Dream Hampton inside. Toure listed the "Hottest Music of 2011," which included Drake, The Cool Kids, Jay Electronica, James Farm, Toro Y Moi, Twin Shadow, J. Moss, Odd Future, and The Weekend.

Tennis spotlighted Novak Djokovic on its cover with a great article by Tom Perrota. This came in the wake of S.L. Price's article in Sports Illustrated on Djokovic, the 23-year-old, Serbian tennis player.

GQ, despite having interesting articles, had some great things at which to look and I don't just mean Alexander Skarsgard on its June cover. I took note of all the African-American models in the forefront of its ads. GQ included a 2-page spread by Hennessy, another 2-page ad from Nautica, which was part of a Macy's commercial, a 2-page spread by Buick Regal Turbo, a 2-page ad from Tommy Hilfiger, a 1-page ad from GNC, featuring an Asian male model, and a 1-page ad for Ralph Lauren RLX Eyewear, featuring black male model Oraine Barrett.

MAD magazine is basically a glorified comic book. Its June issue had some great comic book strips therein. The cover story for June was "The 50 Worst Things About Facebook," written by Charlie Kadau, Jason Katzenstein, Joe Masterman and Jason Salas with artwork by Bob Saake. Another great strip was "Muddled Family," written by Arnie Kagen with artwork by Tom Richmond. Kagen's strip mocked the Emmy-winning, ABC series Modern Family. Trust me, it was hilarious.

ESPN magazine did some powerful reporting this past month. Its May 30th issue was the Busted Issue, which talked about sin and shame on and off the field. It tackled "The Most Scandalous Yea in College Sports." The mag followed this up in its June 27th issue, a Summer Double Issue, Best in Sports, with a piece by Seth Wickersham called "Law & Order: OSU" about the problems plaguing Jim Tressel, the head coach of the Buckeyes.

Best Magazine Articles of June 2011

1. "HIV: 30 Years Later" by Ericka Souter for Essence.
2. "Too Young to Wed" by Cynthia Gorney for National Geographic.
3. "Law & Order: OSU" by Seth Wickersham for ESPN.
4. "The Television Will Be Revolutionized" by Michael Paterniti for GQ.
5. "Finding the Strength to Fight" by Staff Sgt. J. Paul Croxon for Airman.
6. "The History of N.W.A." by Margena A. Christian for Ebony.
7. "The First King of Bling" by Lyah Beth LaFlore for Ebony.
8. "Chemical Revolution" by Ben Paynter for Businessweek.
9. "The Most Scandalous Year..." by Ryan McGee for ESPN.
10. "The Good Fight" by Alyssa Roenigk for ESPN.


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