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 past and present members of the committee for their choices and already have some persuasive cases being here to have a read.



As an editor, Ian worked on everything from Smash Hits to Elle, helped to create many well-known magazines, and ended up collecting a lot of air miles as editorial director of Hearst. As a writer, he has just published Uncovered: Revolutionary Magazine Covers, which involved three years of trying to persuade eminent old editors to come to terms with Skype. He won the BSME's Mark Boxer Award for outstanding achievement in magazines in 2004.


As the editor of Guardian Weekend magazine, Melissa sets the standard for the Saturday and Sunday supplements. She pulled off a rare double in 2015, winning the BSME awards for Editor of the Year (Newspaper magazines) and Cover of the Year (Consumer).


Not content with editing Empire, the market leader in film mags, Terri has just launched Pilot TV, to reflect the age of binge viewing. Before joining Bauer, she edited Time Out New York and Shortlist, where she was BSME Editor of the Year (Men's magazines) 2009. 

TIM DE LISLE (moderator)

Tim used to edit Intelligent Life magazine at The Economist and Wisden Cricket Monthly at John Brown, winning BSME Editor of the Year awards with both. He is now paying for them by serving on the committee. He is is the pop critic for Event magazine at The Mail on Sunday and the author of How to Write Well (Connell Guides, 2017; Quarto, this month).



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 

Name *


Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Date: Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Location: Bankside Southbank, 2 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 9JU (just south of Blackfriars Bridge)

Members: FREE if you have renewed your 2018 membership or entered the 2018 BSME Awards at the non-member rate.  Please email the BSME ( to reserve your place.
Non-Members: £20.  click here to book.