2011: The Best In Magazines

We see a lot of great content here at Zinio. While tough, someone has to spend the day pouring through the pages of the world’s largest digital newsstand. And for the past twelve months, we have been fortunate enough to experience the news and experiences of our world through the most beautiful, hi-fidelity images, engrossing design spreads and hard-hitting, long-form journalism.

So this week, we are excited to present Zinio’s Best of 2011. Already rolled out last week at Zinio, we hope the blog provides a forum to discuss, explore and share the content that really caught our eye for the past year across a multitude of journalistic, design and photographic magazine disciplines.

Our crack team of designers helped make the pretty pages possible, and also worked to concept a visual graphic on the ten biggest news stories of the past year on our digital newsstand which is currently live on visual.ly.

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Real Journalism

This summer,  American political-economics briefly abandoned exile on late night CSPAN, and, like or not, dominated the 24-hour news cycle, minus a couple of instances of MWWS.

For the deluge of cheap soundbites and electioneering, cable news feels directionless and redundant, and I keep returning to my favorite magazines for not only what’s happening, but the underpinnings and implications of those happenings. And because I read digital magazines,  I don’t run the risk of having to burn them for fuel in the apparent baleful dystopia we’ll all live in when our economy implodes.

That’s why I’m pleased Zinio has added The Nation to our always growing collection of news weeklies, having recently added Newsweek, as well as the UK-published The Week to the category.

The NationThe Nation is a curious animal in publishing. It was founded by Abolitionists in the summer of 1865, a couple of days following the original publication of Alice in Wonderland,
making it the oldest continuously published news weekly in America.

It’s founding prospectus, for which I thank Wikipedia, boldly reads:

The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred.”

Pretty audacious, and probably why The Nation and its editors were closely monitored by the FBI for around 50 years; that and its reporting on McCarthyism, and maybe for its unyielding reproach of corruption within the global instruments of power.

Advantageously, The Nation has been a non-profit since 1943, which beyond its charter helps makes it a home to a principled brand of journalism that’s increasingly rarified. You can see it for yourself in wandering through of the 150 years of journalism they’ve indexed at their vast, searchable online archive.

Hunter S. Thompson - Self Portrait, Big Sur on Motorcycle

Like some other more lasting brands you’ll find on Zinio, The Nation has published some of the most influential minds in modern history, from Bertrand Russell, to Martin Luther King, Jr., to Henry Miller, George Orwell, and Hunter S. Thompson. I discovered this little gem from HST in 1965, not surprisingly on the subject of San Francisco, and biker gangs.

Though The Nation is non-profit, Zinio is not. We endorse capitalism with patriotic zeal. That’s why I encourage you to subscribe to The Nation, and read it weekly on your handy tablet device. At 69 cents per issue, staying informed (and maybe a little paranoid) is cheaper than catfood, and you can congratulate yourself for supporting some real journalism.

Subscribing is also a bit more approachable than going on their annual fundraising cruise, where this December you may risk seeing Texas rock legend Steve Earle in a speedo, or a poolside conga line populated by Manhattan’s cultural and intellectual vanguard, spilling piña coladas, and debating themes of globalization and social justice.

Happy reading!

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News Of The Day, Part 1: We’ve Moved!

First and foremost, thanks to all who follow this blog. We started this with the goal of sharing quality magazine content with the public and continue to strive to bring the best of the world of digital magazines to light. So we want to do more with the blog, starting now.

Ziniophile will now no longer update here in the native WordPress.com environment. We’re moving to a custom WordPress server to bring unique design to the blog, as well as a multitude of options for technological upgrades to bring the best possible user experience to our readers.

The new blog can be found here. The forwarding address of blog.zinio.com will continue to work (it will be refreshing over the next 24 hours), however this unique zinio.wordpress.com address will no longer be updated. Again, thanks for reading, and we are working to make sure it only gets better from here.

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Making News

The headlines, news, and articles that have been making news across the Zinio Newsstand.

The Maid's Tale

Newsweek, August 1, 2011
Exclusive: The DSK Maid Speaks

One of the biggest stories this morning is Nafissatou Diallo’s exclusive interview in today’s Newsweek. Diallo, the alleged victim in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case, gave a very lengthy interview — her story is at the center of the Newsweek cover — and revolves around a story which has had a political impact on both sides of the Atlantic. Of particular interest is the timeline of events compiled from comprehensive Newsweek interviews, police records and court documentation available here.

Confessions of an NFL Hit Man

Men’s Journal, August 2011

With the end of the NFL Lockout looming, American football fans are preparing to see over 130 days worth of court proceedings and delays come to an end. If both parties — NFL owners and players both come to an agreement, training camps and practices could begin as soon as Wednesday.

With the attention focused away from the field, some players have taken creative liberties with their free time. Hard-hitting Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker, James Harrison divulged tons of juicy personal opinions on everyone from the NFL commissioner to his quarterback. You can read all the details in the Men’s Journal interview, which will undoubtedly add lots of interesting storylines to the Steelers’ training camp.

Last Tango In Paris

Procycling, July 2011
Stage Preview

It’s not too late to revel in the glory of the toughest road cycle race on Earth. The Tour de France wrapped up yesterday, but Procycling has one of the best, most comprehensive previews of riders, teams and stages.

Shuttle Legacy

Aviation Week & Space Technology
Shuttle Legacy

This past week marked the end of an era and the future of NASA and space exploration is up in the air. The landing of the shuttle Atlantis this past Thursday put closure to an era of space discovery and research, but also signifies the start to commercial and private space mission and travel that is sure to capture the imagination of many. In the meantime, Atlantis heads to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The Diva and Her Demons

B-Metro, June 2011
Max Vadukual – Amy Winehouse

The untimely death of Amy Winehouse is sure to be the topic of both gossip magazines as well as music publications. This photo appeared in Rolling Stone in an article from June 14, 2007, “The Diva and Her Demons.”

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Zinio Android 1.11

Our crack team of Android developers have been hard at work. And today welcomes the most recent version of our Zinio App to the Android Marketplace.

Here is what’s new in the 1.11 version:

* Support for most devices running Android OS 2.2 and greater.
* Support for right to left reading.
* Bug fixes and stability improvements.

Keep your peepers peeled for future enhancements to the market including:

* Explore featured articles from top publications for free.
* Additional usability enhancements and updates.

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Party Like It’s 1999?

Abby Waumbach's Header Gives U.S. 2-1 Advantage

We completely understand if you had to peel yourself away from your magazines this past Sunday. If you were viewing, you witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in United States soccer history, and quite possibly one of the most entertaining matches in any World Cup, men or women.

Remember Landon Donovan’s late heroics against Algeria this past summer? Shades of those same late-game antics followed up with an improbable extra-time goal and a nail-biting series of penalty kicks saw the U.S. women’s squad advance over powerhouse Brazil.

It will likely be years before a team shrugs off shoddy calls and the waning moments of extra time to score the latest goal ever at a World Cup, but that electric finish propelled women’s soccer to the national forefront this week. It was a game instantly worthy of being labeled a classic, and a case study in fortitude and perseverance of any sport in recent memory.

Fast forward to today, where the last seconds just ticked off the clock and the referees signaled to the pitch the end of a match that saw the United States outlasting a feisty, relentless French squad, 3-1.

2011 Women's World Cup Schedule

Within the span of three minutes, the U.S. scored two goals and broke a tie, fueled by Abby Wambach’s header in the 79th minute. Alex Morgan zipped in the insurance goal and helped secure the United States’ first World Cup finals appearance since 1999.

It will be very interesting to review the media coverage — ESPN gambled big to offer extensive coverage from Germany across their cable and web platforms.

With three days remaining until the championship match, and a robust social media landscape, there is a possibility that the story lines of this Women’s World Cup could help provide a robust viewing audience. With Japan knocking Germany out, the U.S. is poised to become the first nation to win three Women’s World Cups.

The U.S. women’s championship victory over China in 1999 still remains the most-watched soccer game in American history. The U.S. awaits the winner of Japan and Sweden — the team that issued the women’s only loss of this tournament during group play.

Stay updated to the blog for updates and further reading about the U.S. girls of summer in our upcoming publications.

Soccer America – Summer 2011
Profile of Alex Morgan

The Joker In The Deck

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Oh Captain, My El Capitan

Looking southeast atop Lembert Dome in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park. Photo: Taylor Pipes, June 26, 2011

Yosemite. That singular word is pretty much all it takes to evoke the beauty, grandeur and magnitude that signify the most publicly recognized pillar of the United States National Park system.

Although, not the first park to be created under the auspices of the NPS, its formation and back story helped pave the way for other parks in the system. Yosemite boasts under 4 million visitors per year, mostly during the spring and summer. Seldom do the tourists spilling into the parks vehicle entrances venture off concrete or from the bustling Yosemite Valley. The three percent who do are the motley bunch that get to experience the beauty and spoils of California’s most beautiful High Sierra.

Two weeks ago, State Route 120 officially opened to vehicle traffic. Known as Tioga Pass Road, it is the only east-west route to bisect the entire length of the park and traverses from the Tuolumne Meadows to the park’s western gate. This artery is also the best access point to some of the best camping and hiking. It is also an excellent way to reach the famed Pacific Coast Trail and high-Alpine destinations that

This past weekend, heavy snowpack dominated the meadows. Campgrounds were still shuttered and a majority of trails were blocked by dangerous, swift-moving streams and densely packed ice and snow. These late season, high altitude conditions are apparent not only in Yosemite but across Western America from Idaho to Washington.

While the snow is slowly melting away, the timetable for climbing and hiking across Yosemite will soon be open. In preparation for those times, we give you some of the best articles that have recently been featured in Zinio publications that showcase climbing, hiking, and hidden treasures available in the Sierras — and in many cases, far from the densely packed arteries and parking lots within the park itself. So choose your own adventure from some spectacular articles and photography below (click on the photo spread to see the article).

National Geographic Interactive, May 2011
Daring. Defiant. Free.

Incredible, lush, reach-out-and-grip it photography documents the new era of superclimbers that push their bodies and test the limits of climbing in Yosemite. Alex Honnold is an example of these fearless bunch. He ascended the Northwest Face of Half Dome sans rope in two hours, 50-minutes. When that 4,840-foot ascent was first tackled in 1957 by Royal Robbins and his team it took them five days.

Daring. Defiant. Free.

National Geographic Traveler, July – August 2011
Dusk.

A recollection on the power of the night sky and stars during an expedition along the John Muir Trail. During the day, few migrate within a mile of pavement into the wilderness, but at night that number dips even lower. Do you wish to experience the park with no lines and fellow hikers? This is the article to explore, giving all the best insight into locating points of the park not decimated by glare or light.

The 211-mile John Muir Trail starts near the base of Half Dome in the Yosemite Valley.

Gripped: The Climbing Magazine, April – May 2011
El Capitan: 1969

The story of the first Canadian ascent of El Capitan’s ‘nose’ — which, in 1969, was one of the world’s biggest climbs at 31 pitches.

The First Canadian Ascent of the Nose

Men’s Journal, June 2011
Hidden Yosemite

The constant theme of a lot of our Yosemite publications are similar: climbing and hiking — both of which feature images far from the parking lots and densely packed valley. These hallmarks are what the tourist in us seeks, and the adventurer deep inside yearns. Get yourself to Young Lake and start enjoying the other ’3 percent’ of the park, eh?

The Sierra's Greatest Vistas Are Best Viewed Tourist-Free

Climbing, May 2011
The Love Letter

A story about one climber’s time spent in Sierra High Country.

Six weeks in the Sierra High Country


Cowboys & Indians, March 2011
Photo Essay: Carlton E. Watkins

This is a fantastic article about little-known Carlton Watkins, long considered the first reknowned landscape photographer, and some of his early work is the most celebrated, beautiful imagery captured from across Yosemite. Photography alone from within the boundaries of Yosemite would be worthy of its own blog post.

Photo Essay: Carlton E. Watkins

Climbing, October 2010
The Project
In October, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson met in Yosemite Valley to begin a multi-week free climb up the Dawn Wall — El Capitan’s meanest, biggest stretch of climbing.

The Project: Inside the four-year effort to create the world's most difficult rock climb

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Eyes On The Prize

Women Of Germany '11

The Dallas Mavericks took down the nets against the Miami Heat, baseball is trudging onward towards the All Star break, and the NFL is dormant and buried in closed-door debates that will decide the outcome of the forthcoming season.

Thank goodness our focus can once again shift to the pitch. Today marks the Americans’ first appearance in the sixth Women’s World Cup kicking off in Germany. The USA’s quest for the cup begins at Rudolf-Harbig-Stadium in Dresden, Germany where the women take on mysterious North Korea for the fourth tournament in a row.

Update: After two second half goals, USA holds off North Korea in Dresden.

Rachel Buehler knocked in America’s second goal to give the team a 2-0 advantage in the 76th minute after a hard fought, statistically even first half.

Football-crazy Germany returns as a World Cup host city after a successful 2006 tournament. As an added bonus, Germany — ranked second in the world, is the favorite to hoist the cup after winning the previous two tournaments. In 2007, the defensive-minded, disciplined German squad steamrolled through the field en route to a championship where they didn’t yield a single goal.

The German women’s team opening match set national records, passing the German men’s opener against Serbia last year by nearly ten percent Sunday, with an average audience of 15.4 million — peaking at 18 million towards the waning moments.

By contrast, that same game in the United States averaged an 0.7 overnight rating on ESPN who has invested a lot of resources into covering this event. Coverage will extend across their networks — ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 streaming. Outside the Lines host and affable ESPN personality Bob Ley will host from a mobile studio traveling from Frankfurt to Berlin featuring a supporting cast of past women soccer stars — Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm.

In the wake of a successful men’s World Cup campaign this past summer from the likes of Landon Donovan, the American television and web audience should be favorable, but likely requires dramatic theatrics and a journey deep into the tournament to resuscitate a passion in women’s soccer not seen in awhile.

To recall a time when women’s soccer was one of the most popular sports in America, you would have to go back to the summer of 1999.

Women's soccer in the United States captured the nation and the World Cup, defeating China in a shootout.

And of course, who can forget one of the most iconic photographs of sports in the 1990s — Brandi Chastain’s bra-exposing celebration after knocking in a penalty kick to defeat China.

Continue to follow all of the exploits of this forthcoming World Cup here on the blog and in the pages of Zinio’s global sports publications from the United States and Germany.

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That’s Fit To Print

NewsweekLike all industries, within journalism there are institutions that do things correctly–meeting a certain standard of newsworthiness, keeping a strong ethical code–and there is television. With the days of Cronkite long gone, news journalists on TV seem to spend the most time talking about talking about themselves.

While that can be entertaining when the debate turns to ideology, it often stops short of the bigger picture: there are lots of stories happening, all over the world, that are far more important. And that, while cable news has now even admitted a bias, the ‘old guard’ (if you will) maintains at least a bit of sensibility when delivering the stories the world has to offer. And some even do it with style.

So with that, it’s an honor to welcome Newsweek to the Zinio newsstand. While there are business points that show an upswing for the prominent title, I’ve never paid much attention to aspects of business and instead am all about the content.

Newsweek

So far, this is some of the first coverage I’ve seen on Zinio titles about the ongoing saga of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. There’s a solid article about the broken down public schools America is seeing more of. And even the entertainment is serious as there’s a lengthy feature previewing the new season of Breaking Bad. (This is all in addition to the cover feature on Diana, a report on 2011 halfway through, and six pages of feature photography.)

Sometimes I see clips from the television or try and navigate the waters of message boards trying to talk about the news, and the only thing I get out of it is a headache. Anchors yelling at one another reflect the biased commenter trolls on internet articles going back and forth. There’s a motto of Times: All The News That’s Fit To Print. Seems to me that while the rest of the world is dodging around in pixels and soundbytes, it’s the traditional print publications that are actually publishing the news.

So welcome Newsweek to Zinio; seldom does a weekly also look this good. After a drastic redesign last year, Newsweek aims quite obviously to be a serious brand in journalism. If you look at what they’re doing, and then at some of the competition out there, I think we can all welcome this with open arms.

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Here Comes A Regular

It’s the first day of summer here in San Francisco. Quite literally. You see, it’s been somewhere between damp, chilly, and overcast for most of the “spring” (I put that in quotes because I assume at least some of you live in a location that has legitimate seasons).

But yes. Summer has arrived. It’s 82 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, the Giants are on top of the NL West and all the girls are wearing sundresses. You know what that calls for?

A good drink.

Best New BarsIf you’re looking to head out, the new issue of Esquire has some solid recommendations with the Best New Bars in America feature. It also has a handy “How to pronounce all these nice Scotches so you won’t embarrass yourself to the cute bartender when you’re trying to appear informed” feature for those who are looking for more than just what bars to hit up. Page 110 has a complete list of the magazine’s favorite bars, of which I can personally vouch for numbers 21, 27, 28, 137, 138, and 153.

For those of you whose heart rests in Portland (Oregon), Portland Monthly has a Best Bars cover feature from last December, most of which still stands. I’d mention which ones I can personally vouch for, but that might start to get embarrassing. Outside of the pacific northwest? Check out the best beers according to Chicago magazine.

Maybe you don’t want to go out. Fortunately, Zinio has an entire category dedicated to drinking well. Seems as though reading a magazine and having a glass of wine go well together, with Wine Enthusiast, Decanter and Touring and Tasting being the first three magazines about wine I came across. (Meaning, like a good meal, there’s more wine, but I had to move on to bourbon.)

Bourbon Review

Ah, The Bourbon Review. I realize the new issue of Maxim has a bit about scotch and a lot about cities with good booze, but I’m more about a good Manhattan than I am a Jagerbomb. (To each their own, though.)

And maybe you’re like me and want to know about the finer whiskeys in life, or maybe you’re all about an individual city and their microbrew culture. And maybe you do want your beer recommendations next to a “30 Sex Tips” column. No matter what your preference, it’s all available in one place, which is pretty radical for anyone taking in the new season with a beverage in hand.

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