For the last two weeks, people have been debating whether women's magazines can produce "serious" journalism (spoiler alert: yes, they can) -- and why substantive pieces within lady mags don't get the accolades that features in men's lifestyle magazines do. On Monday, Glamour's executive editor, Wendy Naugle, joined HuffPost Live host Abby Huntsman to discuss the subject and outlined two key reasons why the serious stories in women's magazines are often ignored.
Naugle said that people tend to confound the length of a piece with how newsworthy it is and pointed out the flaw in arbitrarily assuming importance based on word count. "We're answering to our readers and what they want to know and all aspects of a woman's life," she said. "And who's to say that a 4,000-word piece that is dissecting the quality of a poet is more important and newsier than an 1,800-word story on skin cancer that literally saves hundreds of women's lives?"
Naugle also spoke about how people often devalue topics -- like breast cancer, birth control and reproductive rights -- that are considered "women's issues." She said that features that address these topics have historically been ignored because of their subject matter, but Naugle is optimistic that this is changing.
"We're actually getting to a moment now ... [where] we're starting to see how things like birth control or health are not just affecting women's lives, but affect everyone's lives," she said.
It's also important to remember that the content featured in women's magazines is influencing a lot of people. "Anyone who dismisses women's magazines, it is at their peril," Naugle said. "This is a huge segment of the population that is looking for information and making decisions about that information."