My study of early 21st century American magazine culture continues, with a focus on Barack Obama.
We have before us the August 4 issue of People magazine: The Obamas at Home (Exclusive Photos!) – From piano practice and pillow talk to who does the chores (not him!), Barack, Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia offer a rare look into their Chicago home.
And the September issue of Essence, a wonderful black women’s magazine, features the same famous four: Special Interview: At Home with the Obama Family – Barack and Michelle Obama on Racist Attacks, the HIV Crisis and Saving our Children.
The Essence piece is by far the most serious and most in depth, with a formal portrait of the family on the cover. People is much more informal, a candid photo on the cover, shorter, full of little details about the house. Both are well done, both very positive and upbeat.
I think they speak well to their audiences, and in tones and text that their audiences will get. People is a mainstream (i e, mostly white audience) publication, full of celebrity news and foibles. Essence is aimed at African American women, a more complex audience interested in a broader range of topics, and wanting to know how today’s culture will impact their busy lives.
Both are good stuff, depending on what you’re looking for. And I’ve added them both to my collection.