Today’s publishers are working in an increasingly digitised world. Sales and distribution of physical magazines are falling and many are turning to publishing their articles on the web for free to generate some much-needed advertisement revenue. This is good news for consumers on a budget. That said you might be wondering what the best free online magazine for you is. That’s a hard question to answer and really depends what you are after.
We are lucky today to live in a time where we can access quality online journalism for free online. Publication of online magazines means we are exposed to more journalism than ever before. No matter what your interest, there is something online for you.
If you are looking for quality journalism from brands you know, then one of these could be the best free online magazine for you.
Vanity Fair is an American culture magazine published by Conde Naste. It was first published in 1983 as a revival of the historical Vanity Fair Magazine first began by Conde Naste himself in 1913.
Vanity Fair published many of its long pieces online for free. The magazine itself is mostly a “high brow” take on coverage of celebrity culture such as film and TV stars. It also runs articles on fashion and lifestyle.
This is another venerable institution and Conde Naste publication. The magazine started out in 1925 as a satirical magazine with “sophisticated humor”.
Through the 20th Century the magazine progressed from being associated primarily with humour to becoming one of the most respected forums for literature with short stories and essays published by the likes of Vladimir Nabokov, Philip Roth, J, D Salinger, Truman Capote, John Updike and Stephen King.
Kurt Vonnegut praised the New Yorker magazine as an institution that allows the audience to progress through the learning process needed for appreciating modern literature.
Today the online magazine covers culture, tech, business, books, politics, fashion, satire and more. They have some of the most interesting long pieces committed to print available in their archives to read for free.
The Economist has been continuously in print since 1843 and today has publishes a significant amount of its articles online for free.
It is a weekly news magazine that is politically aligned to economic liberalism, classical liberalism and centrism.
Its articles are supportive of globalization, immigration, cultural liberalism and free trade. It describes itself as ” a product of the Caledonian liberalism of Adam Smith and David Hume”.
TIME magazine was first published in 1923 in New York and is a weekly news magazine with a significant online presence. It is the 11th most circulated online magazine in the world and the second in the USA next to People.
It is written for a general audience and covers all sorts of stories. Personally I find the website a little difficult to navigate and it contains too many adverts.
WIRED seeks to deal with the effect of emerging technology on politics, culture and the economy. It is another Conde Naste publication.
Since 1993 they have published some quite prescient journalism on the future of technology and are responsible for coining terms such as “crowdsourcing” and “the Long Tail”. It frequently features editorials from leaders of the tech industry.
The online edition contains many excellent articles. WIRED is essentially the pre-eminent tech site for technology enthusiasts who like to philosophize. If you are a computer geek and like to ponder the future this is the best free online magazine for you.
One of these fantastic magazines could be the best free online magazine for you if you are totally in to your fashion!
Launched in 2000, Iconique is considered a pioneer of online fashion magazines
The website is visually impressive, integrating flash in to its design. It seeks to evoke the mood of fashion.
The venerable fashion institution has its own online magazine. They also upload video content to the site.
NY Times T Magazine
Made with the aim of most fully recreating the traditional fashion magazine online T Magazine publishes thought-provoking editorial, full page ads and sharp high quality imagery on to the web.
Their daily blog “The Moment” has been praised by seamlessly integrating video in to a true multi-media experience for the readers.
Online Literary Magazines
Do you love to read? Then we might have the best free online magazine for you. Check these out!
Guernica magazine has a strong political focus and publishes some excellent interviews online – worth checking out.
This online literary magazine has a thoroughly minimalist website publishes some top quality fiction to the web. There is a strong editorial sense running throughout the website contrary to its name.
This online magazine has a really cool concept. They publish stories in serial form across the week with a new chapter on each day from Monday to Friday.
Online Science Magazines
This science magazine was founded in 1980 and is a good place for budding scientists to start looking before researching deeper. It publishes on topics ranging from health and medicine to mathematics and physics. They publish many of their articles online.
National Geographic focuses primarily on the natural scientists, it is a must read for anyone interested in the science of nature and the world around us. They are particularly known for their stunning natural photography. It is a great magazine for all ages and has an excellent online presence.
Culture and Art
This online magazine is comprised of a community of creative people from around the globe. They publish the work of visual designers and photographers and take contributions from anyone.
Best free online magazine
As you can see there is a lot of quality online magazines out there, and this is only scratching the surface. So whether you are into fashion, science or just want to read an interesting piece that will open up your perspective on the world, go ahead and dive in!