The Most Influential Magazines of all Time

Which magazine has had the greatest influence of all? And which one has had the most influence on you? Was it one of the big guns like Vogue, or an indie upstart like i-D? The late lamented NME, the majestic New Yorker, or something completely different? Did it change the world, or inspire other magazines? We survey the people who know best – the BSME's members – and then draw up a shortlist, before holding an event and announcing the magazine you've chosen as the most influential of the lot. 



We need you to cast your vote for the mag that you consider most influential – either in general, or in its impact on you. It's a chance to wax lyrical, emotional or professional as you prefer, and to remind yourself what pulled you into magazines in the first place. We've been asking members of the committee for their choices and already have some persuasive cases being made...


Terri White, editor-in-chief of Empire, chooses Just Seventeen

We met when I wasn’t yet 17. I was 11, in fact. Seventeen, with its boys and (by god) boobs, wasn’t even a speck on the horizon. Yet when I waited outside the corner shop before school every Wednesday – one hand clutching a handful of coins, the other protecting my perm from the wind – I had never felt more like a woman in waiting. Once a week I got to fly away from my council estate on the pages of Just Seventeen and there was a staggeringly honest world of bad haircuts, good friends and mediocre sex. So long a gang of one, I now belonged to a gang of many – the thread woven from smart-arse jokes, random quizzes and rib-cracking problem pages. They told me that I didn’t have to give Peter Levers a kiss if I didn’t want to (I didn’t) and could be the clever one in class if I did want to (I did). This isn’t just my story though. It’s the story of all the girls like me: the outsiders, the ones who lingered around the edges, who never wanted to belong to any gang. Until they discovered the best gang of all, in the pages of their favourite magazine. And like all the best gangs, I’m in for life.  



Once the votes are in, we'll put together a panel of influential editors, past and present, for an evening of healthy disagreement, at which we will announce the winning magazine. The panel will be chaired by Tim de Lisle, who wrote for Smash Hits and Harpers & Queen before editing the award-winning (if not long-lasting) Intelligent Life.  Details about this event will be announced in due course.



You can pick any magazine published in English

In print or online

Past or present

Dead or alive

Please give an idea of the period you are thinking of, and a reason for your choice, and attach a cover if you can 

Deadline: Monday, 3 September


Name *