After evaluating the photographs in TIME magazine and in Newsweek magazine, several patterns or trends begin to emerge. The chart that accompanies this paper gives numerical evidence to these patterns, however, the numbers do not tell much of the story in this case. After doing some in depth analysis of the advertisements and photographs within each magazine, these trends become increasingly clear. In the following paper I will briefly explain any discrepancies that may exist in the chart that I have provided, I will discuss how each magazine treats race and gender, and I will analyze who the possible or probable readers are for both TIME and Newsweek. Finally, I will discuss any limitations that exist in simply counting the gender and race depictions in each magazine as well as provide insight into how we could conduct a more complete study of the issues raised in this project.
Throughout both magazines, many patterns remain similar. Males are predominantly featured in photos for news stories rather than in advertisements. This is extremely true in Newsweek where 119 males are found in news photos and only 36 males are found in advertisements. Males in general, dominate both magazines. TIME contains pictures of 204 males, but only 94 females; while Newsweek contains pictures of 155 males, but only 100 females. The news photo seems to suggest a more important photo than an advertisement. Therefore, men are predominantly found in the news photo. Women are consistently seen in both news photos and in advertisements in both TIME and Newsweek. Even though they are found in news photos more than in advertisements, the numbers are deceiving. For example, in Newsweek there are 36 women in advertisements (the same number as men found in advertisements in Newsweek), but only 64 women in news photos compared to 119 males in news photos. TIME is more accurate in its distribution. Males and females are both featured about one half as much in advertisements as they are in news photos.
When analyzing racial patterns in TIME and Newsweek, similar finding or trends emerge to those found between males and females when examining the black race, but different patters emerge with other races. For example, blacks are found more often in advertisements (36) in TIME than they are in news photos (27). In Newsweek, blacks are pictures almost the same in advertisements (20) as they are in news photos (23). However, Hispanics, Arabs, and Asians are featured more often in news photos than they are advertisements. For example, Arabics are found in advertisements in TIME (7) and Newsweek (2) compare to in news photos 22 and 19 respectively. This same trend holds true for Hispanics 4 in TIME and 1 in Newsweek in advertisements compared to 18 and 4 respectively in news photos. Asians however, are displayed nearly equally n both advertisements and in news photos in both magazines. Both magazines treat race in nearly identical ways. The only discrepancy that exists it that Newsweek features more blacks in news photos than in advertisements while TIME features more blacks in advertisements than in news photos, and TIME features nearly four times as many Arabs in advertising that Newsweek features in advertising. Blacks are generally found in less important, less powerful photos in advertisements, while all of the other analyzed races are generally found in the more meaningful news photos. A final observation is that white males are generally picture in a dominant, powerful role over a female or a member of another race throughout the news photos found in each magazine.
Judging by the content, photos, and advertisements in each magazine, I consider myself a citizen rather than a consumer. The articles are mainly political, which is not of much interest to me, the content is geared towards an older crowd, and the abundance of prescription drug ads in each magazine clearly show that its target audience is much older than I. The typical reader of Newsweek magazine is probably a war veteran, has a deep interest in military involvement throughout the world, has a need for several prescription drugs from Vioxx (for arthritis) to Aricept (for Alzheimers) to Celebrex (also for arthritis), drives a Toyota or a full-size truck ?? and adores perhaps even wears those wacky glasses that transition from clear to dark in the sunlight. The typical TIME reader is perhaps middle-aged, slightly younger than the Newsweek reader, he or she may still have a kid around the house, drives a hip, fast Nissan Altima, maybe has enough money to invest in Charles Schwab, or Morgan Stanley’s Special Value Fund, has some desire or affection for cars, and does not read Newsweek.
Counting photos does not take into account the content within the photo. How is the woman positioned, how is the white male placed in reference to the black male? This cannot be determined or evaluated by counting alone. Furthermore, you must decide what race a person is based on the picture alone, and many times this is extremely difficult. Fair skinned blacks and dark skinned whites are seen throughout the magazines. In fact, a lot of the photos try to blur the racial line altogether. A more complete study would include analysis of individual news photos and advertisements. We would have to examine the content or conduct qualitative research, rather than only quantitative research. Finally, we would have to expand the amount of magazines that we evaluate to determine if these trends exist in other magazines, and then determine what the actual trends are in depicting race and gender in magazines.