National Geographic

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**History and Administration:**
– National Geographic Magazine was founded in 1888 as a scholarly journal before transitioning into a popular magazine.
– The magazine introduced color photos in the 1910s and launched National Geographic Kids in 1975.
– Over the years, the editorial leadership evolved from a single editor to the current editor-in-chief model.
– Articles shifted focus to environmental issues post-acquisition by 21st Century Fox, with recent issues featuring shorter articles.
– The magazine faced copyright lawsuits but ultimately prevailed.

**Photography and Editors-in-chief:**
– National Geographic Magazine is renowned for its high standard of photography.
– The magazine’s photography became a trademark by 1910, utilizing advanced tools and introducing color photography in the early 1930s.
– The Grosvenor family held the editor-in-chief position for three generations until 1980.
– Past articles focused on scientific achievements and state resources, while recent ones are vocal on environmental issues and endangered species.
– The National Geographic Society introduced magazines with various thematic focuses.

**Circulation, Language Editions, and Discontinued Editions:**
– In 1995, the magazine had a global circulation of 6.5 million per month, with its Instagram page amassing 243 million followers.
– Language editions of National Geographic are active in numerous countries worldwide.
– Discontinued language editions include Mongolian, Greek, Ukrainian, Azerbaijani, and Latvian, among others.
– The magazine’s circulation in December 2023 was approximately 570,000, with significant changes in staff and sales strategies.

**National Geographic Maps and International Photography Competition:**
– National Geographic Maps became a division of the National Geographic Society in 1915, providing detailed and accurate cartographic information.
– The Society’s maps have been utilized by the U.S. government, including in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s White House map room.
– An international photography competition was initiated in 2006, attracting participants from over eighteen countries.
– The competition aimed to showcase high-quality photojournalism, with National Geographic maintaining a high standard in both print and online photography.

**Awards, Controversies, and Milestones:**
– National Geographic has garnered numerous awards, including 25 National Magazine Awards by 2015 and recognition for reporting, photojournalism, and general excellence.
– The magazine has faced controversies over altered cover images and photo editing in competitions.
– Milestones include the publication of the first issue in 1888, the introduction of color photography in 1914, and the Society’s contributions to cartography and sponsored expeditions.
– The Society’s impact on public awareness of environmental issues and global cultural understanding has been significant, with a rich history of promoting conservation and education programs.

National Geographic (formerly The National Geographic Magazine, sometimes branded as NAT GEO) is an American monthly magazine published by National Geographic Partners. The magazine was founded in 1888 as a scholarly journal, nine months after the establishment of the society, but is now a popular magazine. 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 magazine committed itself to present a balanced view of the physical and human geography of countries beyond the Iron Curtain. Later, the magazine became outspoken on environmental issues.

National Geographic
March 2017 cover
March 2017 cover
EditorNathan Lump
CategoriesGeography, history, nature, science, world culture
Total circulation
1.8 million (United States)
FoundedJanuary 13, 1888; 136 years ago (1888-01-13)
First issueSeptember 22, 1888; 135 years ago (1888-09-22)
CountryUnited States
Based inWashington, D.C.
LanguageEnglish and various other languages

Until 2015, the magazine was completely owned and managed by the National Geographic Society. Since 2015, controlling interest has been held by National Geographic Partners.

Topics of features generally concern geography, history, nature, science, 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, and it is available in a traditional printed edition and an interactive online edition.

As of 1995, the magazine was circulated worldwide in nearly forty local-language editions and had a global circulation of at least 6.5 million per month including 3.5 million within the U.S., down from about 12 million in the late 1980s. As of 2015, the magazine had won 25 National Magazine Awards.

As of April 2024, its Instagram page has 283 million followers, the third most of any account not belonging to an individual celebrity. The magazine's combined U.S. and international circulation as of December 31, 2023 was about 1.8 million, with its newsstand "special editions" separately achieving a circulation of about 570,000.

In 2023, National Geographic laid off all staff writers and will stop U.S. newsstand sales in the next year.

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