National Geographic Magazine

National Geographic Magazine

title = National Geographic

image_size = 200px
image_caption = January 2007 Cover of the National Geographic Magazine
editor = Chris Johns
frequency = Monthly
category = Geography, Science, History, Nature
company = National Geographic Society
firstdate = October 1888 [- [ National Geographic Fact Sheet] ]
country = flag|United States
language = English
website = []
issn = 0027-9358

"The National Geographic Magazine" is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded. It is immediately identifiable by the characteristic yellow border running around the edge of its cover.

There are 12 monthly issues of "National Geographic" per year, plus additional map supplements. On rare occasions, special editions are also issued. It contains articles about geography, popular science, history, culture, current events, and photography. The current Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Magazine is Chris Johns, who was named Editor of the Year in October 2008 by Advertising Age Magazine at the American Magazine Conference.

Society Executive Vice President and President of the Magazine Group John Q. Griffin, who also is Chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America, has overall responsibility for the English language magazines at National Geographic. He reports to Tim Kelly, President, National Geographic Global Media. Terry B. Adamson, Executive Vice President of the Society and the Society's chief legal officer and heads governmental relations, has overall responsibility for the Society's international publications, including National Geographic Magazine. He reports to Society president John M. Fahey, Jr.

With a worldwide circulation in thirty-two language editions of nearly nine million, more than fifty million people receive the magazine every monthFact|date=July 2008. In May 2007, National Geographic magazine won the American Society of Magazine Editors' General Excellence Award in the over two million circulation category and the best photography award for three issues of the magazine in 2006.


The first issue of National Geographic Magazine was published in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded.

The Hallmark of National Geographic, reinventing it from text-oriented entity closer to a scientific journal, to a magazine famous for exclusive pictorial footage, was its January 1905 publication of several full-page pictures made in Tibet in 1900—1901 by two explorers from the Russian Empire, Gombojab Tsybikov and Ovshe Norzunov.

The June 1985 cover portrait of 13-year-old Afghan girl Sharbat Gula became one of the magazine's most recognizable images.

In the late 1990s and 2000s, prolonged litigation over copyright of the magazine as a collective work in Greenberg v. National Geographic caused National Geographic to withdraw from the market a digital compilation of all its past issues of the magazine. Two different federal appellate courts have now ruled in National Geographic's favor in permitting an electronic reproduction of the paper magazine. National Geographic is expected to release a new electronic version of the magazine's 120 year archive sometime next year.

In 2006, National Geographic writer Paul Salopek was arrested and charged with espionage, entering Sudan without a visa, and other crimes by the Government of Sudan while on assignment for a feature article. After National Geographic and the "Chicago Tribune", for whom Salopek also wrote, mounted a legal defense and led an international appeal to Sudan. Salopek was eventually released.


During the Cold War, the magazine committed itself to presenting a balanced view of the physical and human geography of nations beyond the Iron Curtain. The magazine printed articles on Berlin, de-occupied Austria, the Soviet Union, and Communist China that deliberately downplayed politics to focus on culture. In its coverage of the Space Race, "National Geographic" focused on the scientific achievement while largely avoiding reference to the race's connection to nuclear arms buildup.

In later years articles became outspoken on issues such as environment, deforestation, chemical pollution, global warming, and endangered species. Series of articles were included focusing on the history and varied uses of specific products such as a single metal, gem, food crop, or agricultural product, or an archaeological discovery. Occasionally an entire month's issue would be devoted to a single country, past civilization, a natural resource whose future is endangered, or other theme. In recent decades, the National Geographic Society has unveiled other magazines with different focuses.


In addition to being well-known for articles about scenery, history, and the most distant corners of the world, the magazine has been recognized for its book-like quality and its standard of photography. This standard makes it the home to some of the highest-quality photojournalism in the world. The magazine began to feature color photography in the early 20th century, when this technology was still rare. During the 1930s, Luis Marden (1913-2003), a writer and photographer for "National Geographic", convinced the magazine to allow its photographers to use small 35 mm cameras loaded with Kodachrome film over bulkier cameras with tripods and glass plates. In 1959, the magazine started publishing small photographs on its covers, later becoming larger photographs. National Geographic photography has quickly shifted to digital photography for both its magazine on paper and its website. In subsequent years, the magazine cover, while keeping its yellow border, shed its oak leaf trim and bare table of contents, for a large photograph taken from one of the month's articles inside. National Geographic are often kept by subscribers for years and re-sold at thrift stores as collectible back-issues. In 2006, National Geographic began an international photography competition with over eighteen countries participating

"See also: Red Shirt School of Photography"

Map supplements

Supplementing the articles, the magazine sometimes provides maps of the regions visited. The Society's map archives have been used by the United States government in instances where its own cartographic resources were limited.Fact|date=February 2007 President Franklin Roosevelt's White House map room was filled with National Geographic maps. A National Geographic map of Europe is featured in the displays of the Winston Churchill museum in London showing Churchill's markings at the Yalta Conference where the Allied and Russian leaders divided post-war Europe. In 2001, National Geographic released an eight-CD-ROM set containing all its maps from 1888 to December 2000.

Language editions

In 1995, "National Geographic" began publishing in Japanese, its first local language edition. The magazine is now published in thirty-two (32) different language editions around the world, including: English on a worldwide basis, Albanian, Bulgarian, traditional and simplified character Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew and an Orthodox Hebrew edition, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, two Portuguese language editions, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovene, two Spanish language editions, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.

In April 2005, an Indonesian edition launched, published by Gramedia Majalah - Jakarta. A Bulgarian edition of the magazine published by a Sanoma Publishing joint venture launched in November, 2005 and a Slovenian edition published by Rokus launched in May, 2006. In association with Trends Publications in Beijing and IDG Asia, National Geographic has been authorized for "copyright cooperation" in China to publish the yellow border magazine, which recently launched with the July 2007 issue of the magazine with an event in Beijing on July 10, 2007 and another event on December 6, 2007 in Beijing also celebrating the 29th anniversary of normalization of U.S. - China relations featuring former President Jimmy Carter. A Serbian edition of National Geographic was launched with the November 2006 issue in partnership with a joint venture of Sanoma and Gruner + Jahr. A Hebrew edition has recently launched in Israel. A Ukrainian edition in the Ukrainian language is expected to launch in December 2008.

In contrast to the United States, where membership in the National Geographic Society was until recently the only way to receive the magazine, the worldwide editions are sold on newsstands in addition to regular subscriptions. In several countries, such as Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Turkey, National Geographic paved the way for a subscription model in addition to traditional newsstand sales.


On May 1, 2008, National Geographic won 3 National Magazine Awards: an award solely for its written content — in the reporting category for an article by Peter Hessler on the Chinese economy; an award in the photojournalism category for work by John Stanmeyer on malaria in the third world; and a prestigious award for general excellence. [ [ New York Times, National Geographic Wins 3 Awards, Honored Beyond Photography] ]

References and footnotes

ee also

*"Vokrug sveta" (Russian: "Around the World")

External links

* [ "National Geographic" Magazine online]
* [ "National Geographic" online]

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