It is the decade when the U.S. economy started to expand.
“It is a good day today to remember the roaring twenties,” said John M. Taylor, publisher of Life Magazine and senior curator of the National Museum of American History.
In fact, the magazine was one of the most powerful engines in American journalism. Its editorials were printed in a variety of newspapers and periodicals throughout the country, and in 1938 it became the first magazine to break the 100,000 subscriber mark.
From the start, The New Republic was an ambitious venture — the first periodical to launch on the web and among the first to make its content available online.
When it debuted in September 1919, it had more than 12 million subscribers across the United States and about 500,000 in the United Kingdom. The company was able to thrive because it was one of the first publications to make its content available online.
In fact, Taylor described it as an online sensation, with readers turning to it for information about the news and entertainment. (See “Roaring Twenties,” below.)
While Life and Time were pioneering the print world, the Twenties were a period for entrepreneurs. The first companies to start offering magazine subscriptions were Time, whose circulation reached an estimated 100 million for the decade, and Life, which expanded from a small company to become a giant.
And there was a significant difference in audience between this decade and the previous one. As Life and Time grew, advertising dropped.
Today, an estimated 40 percent of Americans get their news through newspapers and digital media, and that’s only going to increase.
There are now more than 1 billion daily active Internet users around the world, according to a Pew Research Center study, which tracks how Americans get their news. More than 80 percent of that digital audience is in Europe.
“We’ve gone from one of the most highly saturated media environments to one of the least — the most people are consuming content digitally,” said Peter Scharfenberg, author of The New Media Generation.
Life’s influence over pop culture also helped make its legacy even stronger. Though it published its first major issue in 1921, there weren’t that many publications with a similar influence in the industry.
“It’s a legacy — they were all so different,” said Michael D’Antonio, founder and editor of Mediaite, an online news site. “I think it’s important for people today to know that they were
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