Magazine Analysis #2: Salon

AUDIENCE:

I think the magazine is aimed at the ages of 20-30, with some college and interest in left-wing politics.  There is a wide range of ads that are geared to the audience. For example, there was a cluster of advertisements that featured things like “The New Line Up of SUVs,” then “Here Are the Most (and Least) Liberal Cities in the USA. Another ad featured was a prolia ad which is an injection to help improve bone strength. The ads are all focused on a different age group, which makes it hard to gauge who reads Salon. The SUV advertisements suggest readers have families and an average income. The liberal cities advertisement indicate that readers are liberal, which is understood. Lastly, the prolia ad suggests that readers are much older than expected. While I’m sure there is an older audience reading, I don’t suspect it to be that much.

EDITORIAL PHILOSOPHY:

Salon is an online-only magazine that focuses on, U.S politics, culture, and current events that are usually reported from a liberal perspective. In addition to editorial, the magazine also has “SalonTV” which has videos on numerous different subjects varying from talents, current news, series, and full episodes. This is different from other magazines because most are sticking on the editorial side of things, but Salon is using its digital capabilities to its fullest potential.

EDITORIAL FORMULA:

Most of the content that appears in this magazine is current news related and heavily influenced by politics. With that being said, the front page articles are relevant to something happening in the news currently. However, the Life section of the magazine does not have a clear focus. I would expect more lifestyle articles in this section, but instead, it was still heavily influenced by politics with a feature story twist. So, I would say the subtopics of the magazine do not have a clear agenda.

ORGANIZATION:

Salon magazine is owned by Salon Media Group and was developed in 1995. Salon Media Group is based out of San Francisco. Salon reaches approximately 20 million visitors monthly. The staff is made up of CEO, CFO, COO, five editors, operations director, art director, two engineers, and finance administration. Salon Media Group is also responsible for SalonTV.

DESIGN:

Salon has a similar design to The Atlantic. However, The Atlantic is much more functional and appealing. Salon’s design is very straightforward and not interactive. I think this matches the philosophy and audience wants. Typically, people use the web so things can be easily accessible, Salon succeeds with this. Also, the headlines make it apparent they are left-wing leaning. For example, “Once again, don’t trust Glenn Beck”  and “5 ways men can be feminist”.

MULTIMEDIA:

Like I mention above, Salon does a good job at utilizing video to tell stories. However, their still images are rather dry and generic. The pictures look like something I can do a Google search for. Good photographs help make a story “clickable”. I think the SalonTV is crucial.  It is a fast way to get news without reading an in depth article on it. Print editions do not provide an interactive experience for their readers.  In addition, it lets you choose how in depth you want to get on the topic with the option of full episodes or five minute clips.
NAVIGATION:

I think Salon could benefit from a website revamp. The different sections are easy to reach with the titles in the header above. The magazine does not seem compatible with every web browser. I initially tried viewing it with Safari, but there was an extreme lag, and the content was not laid out evenly. I moved over to Google Chrome where I had better success in navigating the website. However, on the website, it says it is supported in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Google Chrome. It is also easy to navigate to the social media pages of Salon, with Facebook and Twitter widgets in the header.

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