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''National Geographic'' (formerly the ''National Geographic Magazine'', sometimes branded as NAT GEO) is an American monthly magazine published by the
National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National M ...
. Known for its
photojournalism Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images ...
, it is one of the most widely read magazines of all time. The magazine was founded in 1888 as a scholarly journal, nine months after the establishment of the society. In 1905, it began including pictures, a style for which it became well-known. Its first color photos appeared in the 1910s. During the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World War II. Historians do not fully agree on its sta ...
, the magazine committed itself to presenting a balanced view of the physical and human geography of nations beyond the
Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regi ...
. In later years, the magazine became outspoken on
environmental issues Environmental issues are harmful effects of human activity on the biophysical environment. Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment The natural environment or natural world encompasses all life, living an ...
. Since 2019,
controlling interest A controlling interest is an ownership interest in a corporation with enough voting stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all of the shares In financial markets A financial market is a market in which people trade ...
has been held by
The Walt Disney Company The Walt Disney Company, commonly just Disney (), is an American multinational entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and Interest (emotion), interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight. It ...
. Topics of features generally concern science, geography, history, and world culture. The magazine is well known for its distinctive appearance: a thick square-bound glossy format with a yellow rectangular border. Map supplements from National Geographic Maps are included with subscriptions. It is available in a traditional printed edition and an interactive online edition. , the magazine was circulated worldwide in nearly 40 local-language editions and had a global circulation of at least 6.5million per month (down from about 12 million in the late 1980s), including 3.5 million within the U.S. , its Instagram page has 191million followers, the most of any account not belonging to an individual celebrity. , the magazine had won 25
National Magazine Awards The National Magazine Awards, also known as the Ellie Awards, honor print and digital publications that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative techniques, noteworthy enterprise and imaginative design. Orig ...
.


History

The first issue of the ''National Geographic Magazine'' was published on September 22, 1888, nine months after the Society was founded. It was initially a scholarly journal sent to 165 charter members and currently it reaches the hands of 40 million people each month. Starting with its January 1905 publication of several full-page pictures of Tibet in 1900–01, the magazine changed from being a text-oriented publication closer to a scientific journal to featuring extensive pictorial content, and became well known for this style. The June 1985 cover portrait of the presumed to be 12-year-old Afghan girl
Sharbat Gula Sharbat Gula ( ps, شربت ګله; born ) is an Afghan Afghan ( Pashto/Persian language, Persian: ) refers to someone or something from Afghanistan, in particular a citizen of that country. The pre-nation state, historical ethnonym Afghan (ethn ...
, shot by photographer
Steve McCurry Steve McCurry (born April 23, 1950) is an American photographer, freelancer ''Freelance'' (sometimes spelled ''free-lance'' or ''free lance''), ''freelancer'', or ''freelance worker'', are terms commonly used for a person who is self-employed ...
, became one of the magazine's most recognizable images. ''
National Geographic Kids ''National Geographic Kids'' is a children's magazine published by the National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States The United States of America (USA), commonly k ...
'', the children's version of the magazine, was launched in 1975 under the name ''National Geographic World''. In the late 1990s, the magazine began publishing ''The Complete National Geographic'', an electronic compendium of every past issue of the magazine. It was then sued over copyright of the magazine as a
collective work A collective work is a work that contains the works of several authors assembled and published under the direction of one natural or legal person who owns the copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the ex ...
in '' Greenberg v. National Geographic'' and other cases, and temporarily withdrew the availability of the compilation. The magazine would prevail in the dispute, and in July 2009, resumed republishing containing all past issues through December 2008. The collection was later updated to make more recent issues available, and the archive and electronic edition of the magazine are available online to the magazine's subscribers. In September 2015, the
National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National M ...
moved the magazine to a new partnership, National Geographic Partners, in which 21st Century Fox held a 73%
controlling interest A controlling interest is an ownership interest in a corporation with enough voting stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all of the shares In financial markets A financial market is a market in which people trade ...
. In December 2017 - to March 2019,
Disney The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney (), is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California California is a U.S. st ...
acquired 21st Century Fox, including the latter's interest in National Geographic Partners. NG Media publishing unit was operationally transferred into
Disney Publishing Worldwide Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW), formerly known as The Disney Publishing Group and Buena Vista Publishing Group, is the publishing subsidiary of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Its imprints include ...
.


Administration

The current
Editor-in-Chief An editor-in-chief, also known as lead editor or chief editor, is a publication's editorial leader who has final responsibility for its operations and policies. The highest-ranking editor of a publication may also be titled editor, managing editor ...
of the magazine is
Susan Goldberg Susan Goldberg is an American journalist and editor in chief of '' National Geographic Magazine''. She is the first woman to edit the magazine since it was first published in 1888. Before joining ''National Geographic'', Goldberg worked at Bloom ...

Susan Goldberg
. Goldberg is also Editorial Director for National Geographic Partners, overseeing the print and digital expression of National Geographic's editorial content across its media platforms including ''National Geographic'' magazine. She is responsible for the news, ''National Geographic Traveler'' magazine, ''National Geographic History'' magazine, and maps. She is also responsible for all the editorial digital content with the exception of ''National Geographic Books and Kids''. Goldberg reports to Gary Knell, CEO of National Geographic Partners.


Editors-in-chief

The magazine had a single "editor" from 1888 to 1920. From 1920 to 1967, the chief editorship was held by the president of the
National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National M ...
. Since 1967, the magazine has been overseen by its own "editor" and/or "editor-in-chief". The list of editors-in-chief includes three generations of the Grosvenor family between 1903 and 1980. *John Hyde: (October 1888 – September 1900; Editor-in-Chief: September 1900 – February 1903) *
Gilbert Hovey GrosvenorGilbert may refer to: People and fictional characters *Gilbert (given name) Gilbert is a given name of Norman-French origin, itself from Germanic ''Gisilberht'' or ''Gisalberht''. Original spellings included ''Gislebert'', ''Guilbert'' and ''Gileb ...
(1875–1966): (Editor-in-Chief: February 1903 – January 1920; Managing Editor: September 1900 – February 1903; Assistant Editor: May 1899 – September 1900) *Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor: (1920–1954) (president of the society and editor-in-chief at the same time) *
John Oliver La Gorce John Oliver La Gorce (1880–1959) was an American writer and explorer known for his work in the National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States The United States of ...
(1879–1959): (May 1954 – January 1957) (president of the society at the same time) *
Melville Bell Grosvenor Melville Bell Grosvenor (November 26, 1901 – April 22, 1982) was the president of the National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States The United States of America (U ...
(1901–1982): (January 1957 – August 1967) (president of the society at the same time) (thereafter editor-in-chief to 1977) *Frederick Vosburgh (1905–2005): (August 1967 – October 1970) *
Gilbert Melville Grosvenor Gilbert Melville Grosvenor (born May 5, 1931) is the former president and chairman of the National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States The United States of America ...
(1931– ): (October 1970 – July 1980) (then became president of the society) *Wilbur E. Garrett: (July 1980 – April 1990) *William Graves: (April 1990 – December 1994) *William L. Allen: (January 1995 – January 2005) * Chris Johns: (January 2005 – April 2014) (first "editor-in-chief" since MBG) *
Susan Goldberg Susan Goldberg is an American journalist and editor in chief of '' National Geographic Magazine''. She is the first woman to edit the magazine since it was first published in 1888. Before joining ''National Geographic'', Goldberg worked at Bloom ...

Susan Goldberg
: (April 2014 – present)


Articles

During the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World War II. Historians do not fully agree on its sta ...
, the magazine committed itself to presenting a balanced view of the physical and human geography of nations beyond the
Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regi ...
. The magazine printed articles on Berlin, de-occupied Austria, the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
, and Communist China that deliberately downplayed politics to focus on culture. In its coverage of the
Space Race The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, whi ...
, ''National Geographic'' focused on the scientific achievement while largely avoiding reference to the race's connection to nuclear arms buildup. There were also many articles in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s about the individual states and their resources, along with supplementary maps of each state. Many of these articles were written by longtime staff such as Frederick Simpich. There were also articles about biology and science topics. In later years, articles became outspoken on issues such as
environmental issues Environmental issues are harmful effects of human activity on the biophysical environment. Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment The natural environment or natural world encompasses all life, living an ...
,
deforestation deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

deforestation
,
chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some references add that chemical substance cannot be separated into its constituent elements by physical separation methods, i.e., wit ...

chemical
pollution Pollution is the introduction of contaminant Contamination is the presence of a constituent, impurity, or some other undesirable element that spoils, corrupts, infects, makes unfit, or makes inferior a material, physical body, natural env ...

pollution
,
global warming Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known event ...

global warming
, and
endangered species An endangered species is a species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactio ...
. 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 with different focuses. Whereas in the past, the magazine featured lengthy expositions, recent issues have shorter articles.


Photography

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. It was during the tenure of Society President
Alexander Graham Bell Alexander Graham Bell (; born Alexander Bell, March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone A telephone is a tele ...

Alexander Graham Bell
and editor Gilbert H. Grosvenor (GHG) that the significance of illustration was first emphasized, in spite of criticism from some of the Board of Managers who considered the many illustrations an indicator of an “unscientific” conception of geography. By 1910, photographs had become the magazine's trademark and Grosvenor was constantly on the search for "dynamical pictures" as Graham Bell called them, particularly those that provided a sense of motion in a still image. In 1915, GHG began building the group of staff photographers and providing them with advanced tools including the latest darkroom. The magazine began to feature some pages of
color photography in 1855, taken in 1861 by Thomas Sutton (photographer), Thomas Sutton. The subject is a colored ribbon, usually described as a tartan ribbon. photograph of William Willoughby Cole Verner, Col. Willoughby Verner by Sarah Acland (photographer) ...
in the early 1930s, when this technology was still in its early development. During the mid-1930s,
Luis Marden Luis Marden (born Annibale Luigi Paragallo) (January 25, 1913 – March 3, 2003) was an United States, American photographer, explorer, writer, filmmaker, diver, navigator, and linguist who worked for ''National Geographic Magazine''. He worked as a ...
(1913–2003), a writer and photographer for ''National Geographic'', convinced the magazine to allow its photographers to use the so-called "miniature" 35 mm Leica cameras loaded with
Kodachrome Kodachrome is the brand name for a color reversal film introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1935. It was one of the first successful color materials and was used for both cinematography and still photography. For many years Kodachrome was widely used f ...
film over bulkier cameras with heavy glass plates that required the use of
tripod using a surveyor's tripod A tripod is a portable three-legged frame or stand, used as a platform for supporting the weight In science and engineering, the weight of an object is the force acting on the object due to gravity. Some standard ...
s. In 1959, the magazine started publishing small photographs on its covers, later becoming larger photographs. National Geographic photography quickly shifted to digital photography for both its printed magazine and its website. In subsequent years, the cover, while keeping its yellow border, shed its oak leaf trim and bare table of contents, to allow for a full page photograph taken for one of the month's articles. Issues of ''National Geographic'' are often kept by subscribers for years and re-sold at thrift stores as collectibles. The standard for photography has remained high over the subsequent decades and the magazine is still illustrated with some of the highest-quality
photojournalism Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images ...
in the world. In 2006, ''National Geographic'' began an international photography competition, with over eighteen countries participating. In conservative Muslim countries like
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north ...

Iran
and
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two reg ...

Malaysia
, photographs featuring topless or scantily clad members of primitive tribal societies are often ; buyers and subscribers often complain that this practice decreases the artistic value of the photographs for which National Geographic is known.


Gallery

File:Srirangam 1909.jpg, Srirangam Temple, India (''National Geographic Magazine'' November 1909) File:Tajin1913.jpg, Pyramid of the Niches, El Tajín (''National Geographic Magazine'' February 1913) File:ButterMakingPalestine1914.jpg, Traditional butter making in Palestine (region), Palestine (''National Geographic Magazine'' March 1914) File:Spanish Gypsy NGM-v31-p257.jpg, Spanish Gypsy (''National Geographic Magazine'' March 1917) File:Kathmandu Market 1920.jpg, Kathmandu Market (''National Geographic Magazine'' October 1920)


Map supplements

Supplementing the articles, the magazine sometimes provides maps of the regions visited. National Geographic Maps (originally the Cartographic Division) became a division of the National Geographic Society in 1915. The first supplement map, which appeared in the May 1918 issue of the magazine, titled ''The Western Theatre of War'', served as a reference for overseas military personnel and soldiers' families alike. On some occasions, the Society's map archives have been used by the United States government in instances where its own cartography, cartographic resources were limited. A Map Cabinet containing over eighteen National Geographic maps has been presented to every U.S. president since President Franklin D. Roosevelt. President of the United States, President Franklin D. 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 Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, museum in London showing Churchill's markings at the Yalta Conference where the Allies of World War II, Allied leaders divided World War II, post-war Europe. In 2001, ''National Geographic'' released an eight-CD-ROM set containing all its maps from 1888 to December 2000. Printed versions are also available from the National Geographic website.


Language editions

In April 1995, ''National Geographic'' began publishing in Japanese, its first local language edition. The magazine is currently published in 31 local editions around the world. The following local-language editions have been discontinued: 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 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. The mainland China version is one of the two local-language editions that bump the ''National Geographic'' logo off its header in favor of a local-language logo; the other one is the Persian language, Persian version published under the name ''Gita Nama''. Worldwide editions are sold on newsstands in addition to regular subscriptions. In several countries, such as Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine ''National Geographic'' paved the way for a subscription model in addition to traditional newsstand sales.In the United States, newsstand sales began in 1998; previously, membership in the National Geographic Society was the only way to receive the magazine.


Awards

On May 1, 2008, ''National Geographic'' won three
National Magazine Awards The National Magazine Awards, also known as the Ellie Awards, honor print and digital publications that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative techniques, noteworthy enterprise and imaginative design. Orig ...
—an award solely for its written content—in the reporting category for an article by Peter Hessler on the Economy of China, 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. Between 1980 and 2011 the magazine has won a total of 24 National Magazine Awards. In May 2006, 2007, and 2011 ''National Geographic'' magazine won the American Society of Magazine Editors' General Excellence Award in the over two million circulation category. In 2010, National Geographic Magazine received the top ASME awards for photojournalism and essay. In 2011, National Geographic Magazine received the top-award from ASME—the Magazine of the Year Award. In April 2014, ''National Geographic'' received the National Magazine Award ("Ellie") for best tablet edition for its multimedia presentation of Robert Draper's story "The Last Chase," about the final days of a tornado researcher who was killed in the line of duty. In February 2017, National Geographic received the National Magazine Award ("Ellie") for best website. National Geographic won the 2020 Webby Award for News & Magazines in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice. National Geographic won the 2020 Webby Award, 2020 Webby Award and Webby People's Voice Award for Magazine in the category Web.


Controversies

On the magazine's February 1982 cover, the pyramids of Giza were altered, resulting in the first major scandal of the digital photography age and contributing to photography's "waning credibility". The cover of the October 1988 issue featured a photo of a large ivory male portrait whose authenticity, particularly the alleged Ice Age provenance, has been questioned. In 1999, the magazine was embroiled in the ''Archaeoraptor'' scandal, in which it purported to have a fossil linking birds to dinosaurs. The fossil was a forgery. In 2010, the magazine's Your Shot competition was awarded to William Lascelles for a photograph presented as a portrait of a dog with fighter jets flying over its shoulder. Lascelles had, in reality, created the image using photo editing software. In March 2018, the editor of National Geographic,
Susan Goldberg Susan Goldberg is an American journalist and editor in chief of '' National Geographic Magazine''. She is the first woman to edit the magazine since it was first published in 1888. Before joining ''National Geographic'', Goldberg worked at Bloom ...

Susan Goldberg
, said that historically the magazine's coverage of people around the world had been Racism, racist. Goldberg stated that the magazine ignored non-white Americans and showed different groups as exotic, thereby promoting racial clichés. On May 31, 2020, a Content ID (system), Content ID bot filed a false copyright claim on YouTube on behalf of National Geographic against a public domain NASA video of the launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission which was also distributed by National Geographic on YouTube. The video was restored the following day on June 1.


See also

*''Asian Geographic'' *''Australian Geographic'' *''Canadian Geographic'' and ''Géographica'' in Canada *''Chinese National Geography'' (founded in 1949) *Chris Johns (photographer), staff photographer and subsequently, editor-in-chief (2005–2014) of the magazine *''GEO (magazine), GEO'', Germany *Joel Sartore staff photographer, head of ''The Photo Ark'' project *John Patric, noted writer for ''National Geographic'' during the 1930s and 1940s *
National Geographic Kids ''National Geographic Kids'' is a children's magazine published by the National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States The United States of America (USA), commonly k ...
*''National Geographic Traveler'' *''The Photo Ark'' *''Royal Geographical Society'' *''Vokrug sveta'' (Russian: ''Around the World'')


References


Further reading

* Robert M. Poole, ''Explorers House: National Geographic and the World it Made'', 2004; reprint, Penguin Press, 2006, * Stephanie L. Hawkins, ''American Iconographic: "National Geographic," Global Culture, and the Visual Imagination'', University of Virginia Press, 2010, , 264 pages. A scholarly study of the magazine's rise as a cultural institution that uses the letters of its founders and its readers; argues that ''National Geographic'' encouraged readers to question Western values and identify with others. * William G. Moseley, Moseley, W.G. 2005. “Reflecting on National Geographic Magazine and Academic Geography: The September 2005 Special Issue on Africa” African Geographical Review. 24: 93–100.


External links

*
All the magazine's covers published since 1888 until the year 2000
*iarchive:NationalGeographicMagazineCollection/mode/2up, Archived National Geographic magazines on the Internet Archive {{Authority control 1888 establishments in Washington, D.C. Magazines established in 1888 Magazines published in Washington, D.C. Monthly magazines published in the United States National Geographic Partners National Geographic Society magazines Science and technology magazines published in the United States