Friday, December 3, 2010

J-14 (Magazine)

J-14 (Magazine) Published since: 2000. Publisher: Bauer Media Group. ASIN: B00005OM4W.

Plot summary
: This monthly publication is aimed at teen girls and includes information about celebrities popular with teens, articles about fashion, makeup, friendship and romance, as well as tear-out posters of celebs. Also featured regularly in the magazine are quizzes for readers to take with their friends. The bulk of the magazine is photographs of celebrities, and most of the information about these celebs is similar to that found in a tabloid magazine (gossip, he-said-she-said, etc.) The celebrities featured in the magazine usually do not change from issue to issue, but do shift as new celebs enter the pop-culture field of vision. Typical celebrities to be featured in J-14 currently are Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson, Kristin Stewart, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and the Jonas Brothers.

Critical evaluation: Although the magazine is wildly popular with teen girls, J-14 (which stands for “just for teens”) has little to offer in terms of education or realism beyond a typical supermarket tabloid. The bulk of the magazine is images and posters of celebrities. These celebrities typically do not change from issue to issue, so if a teen is interested in celebs other than the “typical” teen heartthrobs, J-14 will not appeal to them. The majority of the “information” about these celebrities that is included in the magazine is essentially un-substantiated gossip. Typical cover stories include things like “Why Miley called the cops,” “Zac’s dirty secret” and “The real story behind Justin’s backseat kiss.” Most of the information in these articles is clearly concocted for even the mildly discerning reader, and acts more as an excuse for a large photo of the celeb rather than for a truthful telling of the facts. The articles about fashion, friendship and romance are little better. They lack the heart of other teen magazines like Seventeen or Teen Vogue, and seem to be more filler than informative. Despite these shortcomings, however, J-14 will still be incredibly appealing for teens. The photos and articles make for entertaining and light fun, and can also be used as decorations (all issues include at least one tear-out poster.) The magazine is the literary equivalent of a tall glass of soda, but teens are certainly going to continue to drink it up, issue after issue.

Reader's annotation: This magazine features tons of celeb photos, interviews and gossip as well as articles about fashion, makeup, friendships and romance.   

About the publisher: Founded in 1875 in Hamburg, Germany by Johann Bauer, the Bauer Media Group now operates in fourteen countries and publishes 308 magazines. Bauer Publishing began doing business in the United States market in 1981 with the magazine Woman’s World. Bauer US now publishes nine magazines in the United States: InTouch Weekly, Life & Style Weekly, J-14, Twist, M, ASTROgirl/QuizFest, Life Story, First, Woman’s World and Soaps in Depth. In addition to magazines, the Bauer Media Group also owns TV and radio stations throughout Europe. Apart from Germany, the Bauer Media Group has the most market activity in the United Kingdom. (

Genre: Magazine

Curriculum ties:

Booktalking ideas:
Importance of celebrities in daily life
Impact of magazines on lives of teenagers
Influence of pop culture icons on society

Reading level/Interest Age:
Grade 6 and up

Challenge issues:

Reasons for inclusion:
Widely selling magazine for teens, published for ten years.

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