A hurried businessman runs across the airport at a full sprint. If he doesn't get to Gate D3 in three minutes, he will miss his flight to Singapore. As he is running, little beads of sweat begin to form on his brow. People gawk at him and hurl insults his way when he bumps past them with seemingly no thought. All of a sudden, the man stops in full stride, whining to a stop. He breathes heavily and looks to his right. How can he go on the plane without something to read? Quickly the man bounds over to the news stand and looks at the plethora of reading materials. News looks appealing. Grabbing a local newspaper and a copy of Newsweek, the man tries to decide which one to buy. The dullness of the newspaper or the bright colors and in-depth stories of Newsweek? Grinning with satisfaction, he grabs the Newsweek and leaps away to catch his flight.
Newsweek has delivered news to readers for over 60 years. Color pictures, bright cover pages, in-depth stories on a multitude of subjects, and scores of advertisements littered throughout are just a few of the many things that Newsweek brags over the simplicity of a black and white newspaper. During the 1940's was Newsweek the same? Did it try to appeal to the same audience or try to reflect an accurate picture of what was going on in the world? Was the content of the magazine different in any way? Newsweek during the 1940's varied greatly from that of the 1990's in a variety of ways, yet had the same goal throughout its existence, to sell and make money.
Red borders and red lettering adorned the cover of Newsweek during the 1940's. Below the main title was the phrase "Magazine of news significance " which is what everyone associated with Newsweek. Newsweek was a newsmagazine that delivered news and pertinent information to the general public. Because a newspaper is released every day while a newsmagazine like Newsweek is released once a week, why would people want old news? Newsweek prided itself on in-depth stories that newspapers did not provide the readers with. Also, it provided the reader with color, which no newspapers had during the time. During the 40's, the world was going through a horrible time known as World War II. Everyone lived in fear from one day to the next, whether it be from fear of bomb scares to fear of the death of a loved one fighting overseas. Newsweek tried to ease this fear that the American public felt by reporting on everything that was going on during the war including maps of the war effort, interviews with soldiers, and intimate notes from the President himself. The main focus of Newsweek thus during the 40's was on the war, covering almost every aspect of it. There occasionally would be little blurbs about affairs within the United States, but that was rare.
War appealed to men, since men were primarily the ones involved with it. Men were still the heads of every aspect of society in the 1940's. The view of women was for them to stay in the house and cook and clean. Women were not trusted to be able to make important decisions and were not included in any form of corporate business. This fact caused Newsweek to appeal to the male audience, since even the women were seen as slightly illiterate and not able to fully understand the affairs of the world. Mixed throughout the magazine were advertisements for whiskey and alcohol products, cigarettes such as Lucky Strike, ball bearings, tractors and other farm equipment, and motor vehicles. Also the advertisements would include text below it such as "For the serious man" or "Only real men use ____" which showed how much Newsweek was trying to appeal to men.
Men during the 1940's loved to read long text articles about a subject. Very few pictures were littered throughout the magazine, and what pictures there were had a small space designated for each. The advertisements for products such as ball bearings or cigarettes had page-long text articles with a description of the product as well as its wonderful characteristics. It took a normal