Rolling Stone magazine

1 Aug

Bibliographic Information

Rolling Stone Magazine bi-weekly magazine published by Wenner Media

Plot Summary

Rolling Stone magazine was founded in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the editor and publisher.  The magazine was once associated with the hippie counter culture of the late sixties and seventies with writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Patti Smith, Cameron Crowe, Lester Bangs, and P.J. O’Rourke contributing to the publication.  Now Rolling Stone seeks to attract a younger audience by focusing on entertainment and popular culture.  Recent cover stories have featured pop star Justin Bieber, actor Charlie Sheen, and the judges from the television show The Voice. In every issue, there are short news stories and longer profiles on musicians and actors, feature length articles on social and political issues, and music, movie and television reviews.

Critical Evaluation

While Rolling Stone may not be the cultural icon it once was, it still offers readers a good mix of news and entertainment.  Young readers will be drawn to the magazine for its coverage of popular musicians and actors.  In every issue, there are pages filled with excellent photos of concert tours, parties, and other celebrity gossip.  The cover story typically focuses on an artist who is enjoying popular success (Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage) or who is a cultural icon (Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen).  The profiles are generally interesting and informative and give readers access to the world of acting, music, and politics.

But Rolling Stone contains more than just fluff pieces on the celebrity du’ jour.  It also has some terrific journalism on important topics.  In the most recent issue, there is an excellent article on global warming that breaks the crisis down into simple and frightening statistics.  The previous issue had a cover story and interview on President Obama.  Other feature stories have covered the dangerous hazing rituals of fraternity members at Dartmouth College, three states attempts to pass pot legalization legislation, and commentary on how Wall Street and Congress killed financial reform.  Judging from its covers, Rolling Stone may look like it’s light and fluffy, but these articles prove it can still cover serious issues that impact young people’s lives today.

Reader’s Annotation

Rolling Stone magazine is the perfect blend of entertainment and political news.  Readers looking for the latest stories on popular musicians and actors will find interesting profiles and reviews.  The magazine also offers in-depth journalism on important political and social topics of the day.


Magazine writing, Journalism

Curriculum Ties

English, Civics, Music

Booktalking Ideas


Reading Level / Interest Age

Grade 9 and up

Challenge Issues


Why did I include this title?

I have loved Rolling Stone magazine ever since I was a high school student. It was the first magazine I subscribed to as a teen.  I love its mix of popular and political stories.  While I don’t relate as well to the younger stars on the cover, I’m always interested in their political and cultural stories.


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