The research paper analyzes the history of British illustrated periodicals of the late XIX — early XX century. Illustrated periodicals and newspapers both demand and supply features in the mass media market is explored. The proposed typology for illustrated print media is made according to the genre specifics and target audience of readers. The research paper attaches considerable importance to the factors responsible for the increasing of the assortment of illustrated print media and making them more available and accessible, such as constant improving of printing process and technique, the development of newspaper industry, expanding readership to the lower strata of society, the development of fine arts and visual culture etc.
The development of the British illustrative publications took place within a context of quantitative increase and a qualitative improvement of the newspapers and magazines. The success of the press and publishing was closely dependent on the economic, political and social development of the United Kingdom. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the audience for periodicals in Great Britain has been greatly enlarged by including the representatives of the middle and lower classes. The increase in Britain’s population, the spread of elementary education, shortening of the weekly working hours have created favourable conditions for people to spend their leisure time for reading books and newspapers. The lowering of prices was accompanied by system of wide distribution thus has fostered the popularization of mass-circulation periodicals and newspapers.
In the last third of the nineteenth century it was technically feasible to print good-quality images. However, the news media had often preferred to print timely information rather than illustrative materials. Among illustrated periodicals, better-educated reading public have preferred to the literary and art journals. Their illustrations reflected all the trends of the fine arts of this time. On the other hand, a large number of illustrated newspapers and magazines suited tastes and preferences of less-educated and more unpretentious audience, and have mainly been illustrated in traditional style. At the same time, such printed publication as «Punch» or «The Illustrated London News» has been a sort of a standard of quality among illustrated periodicals and were in great demand in a large segment of readers.
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