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Online Women’s Magazines: Differences in Perceptions Between Print and online Magazines Among Female Readers

By:   •  December 6, 2018  •  Essay  •  888 Words (4 Pages)  •  58 Views

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MDST 3000: Media Research

Assignment #2: Response Paper

31 October 2019

        The journal article “Online Women’s Magazines: Differences in Perceptions between Print and Online Magazines among Female Readers” was published in 2016. The article examines women’s perceptions and behaviors toward online women’s magazines based on an online survey of 257 female magazine readers. The study was conducted based on an array of questions targeting female readers: Do female readers obtain what they have originally expected from online women’s magazines? Are Online magazines meeting their expectations or not? What are their main motives of using online magazines? How do female readers perceive the differences between online and print women’s magazines? Based on the results from the study, “compared with their print counterparts, online magazines were perceived to be easier to read, skip ads, order products, search for, save and share information and comment on articles” (Karan, Park & Xie, p. 1). This research is vital in discovering how to best market to the next generation full of tech-savvy women.  

        K. Karan examines the correlation of digital media and female reader consumption by taking steps back in history. “Since the mid-1990s, websites have been developed to target women as a demographic category, providing contents specific to female audiences (Royal, 2005). “After the wide penetration of the Internet since the early 1990s, the fun and convenience of going online has become increasingly important to a wide range of women, from stay-at-home moms and career women to teens and students.” The main idea of the paper seeks to discover the key gratifications of online women magazines by zeroing in on several aspects such as: features, technical, and interactive. In order to discover the demographic and behavioral characteristics of users of online women’s magazines, the first question presented states: What articles do women readers read most in online women’s magazines? The study revealed that women were more likely to seek health tips, get religious and spiritual information; and use support-group websites. Female readers also tend to show interest in issues like celebrity, sex and fluff. In order to gain specific empirical evidence of what features or functionalities of online women’s magazines are associated with readers level of contentment the second research question formulated asks, What are the benefits of online magazines compared to the print magazines? The results indicate

that online women’s magazines provide a wider availability and convenience to readers than print magazines do. Finally, the article seeks to unfold the motivations of female readers use of discussion forums and if this kind of interactivity will increase involvement in the content and engagement of online magazines. In order to uncover these motives the third research question is put simply: What are the motivations of female magazine readers’ use of discussion forums? It is clear from the findings that “despite the popularity of online women’s magazines, the frequency to access discussion forums of online magazines was found to be considerably low” (Karan, Park & Xie, p. 40). 

        One aspect of this article I found to be most compelling was that the majority of female readers were not active in utilizing interactive features of online magazines, nor were they engaging in interactions with other users. Since I myself can be easily categorized into the demographic this article targeted, it is hard for me to understand why female readers aren’t taking full advantage of the “virtual togetherness” online magazines offer. However, this finding made me realize that even the most well-renowned magazines, like Vogue and Cosmopolitan, must improve the marketing of their online publications. Readers should be aware of the countless benefits online magazines have over print versions. I believe that the lack of interactivity through online magazines could be a fault of the publications not utilizing the media outlet to provide female readers with a place to share knowledge and better yet empower one another.

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