There are over 11,000 magazines and periodicals in the United States. More than 4,000 of them appear monthly, and over 1,300 are published each week. They cover all topics and interests, from art and architecture to tennis, from aviation and gardening to computers and literary criticism. Quite a few have international editions, are translated into other languages, or have "daughter" editions in other countries. Among the many internationals are National Geographic, Reader's Digest, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Time, Newsweek, Scientific American, and Psychology Today.

The weekly newsmagazines — the best known are Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report — serve as a type of national press. They also have considerable international impact, above all Time. This newsmagazine appears each week in several international editions. There are some for various parts of the United States, for the Far East, for Australia, for Europe, and so on. Time claims that although the advertising changes in each edition, the content remains the same internationally. This is not quite true: in the U.S. editions, for instance, there is no section called "European Notes." In any case, no other single news publication is read so widely by so many people internationally as is Time.

There are two other reasons why Time has such international influence. First, several other newsmagazines were modeled on Time. Among these are the leading newsmagazines in France, Germany, and Italy. Secondly, Time also sells news, news features, interviews, photographs, graphics, and charts to other publications throughout the world. Feature stories that first appear in Time are therefore echoed in many other publications in many other countries.

The newsmagazines are all aimed at the average, educated reader. There are also many periodicals which treat serious educational, political, and cultural topics at length. The best known of these include The Atlantic Monthly, Harvard Educational Review, Saturday Review, The New Republic, National Review, Foreign Affairs, Smithsonian, and, of course, The New Yorker. Such widely read periodicals, along with the hundreds of professional journals, provide a broad and substantial forum for serious discussion. Again, a lot of what first appears in these publications is often reprint internationally or in book form. Many of the long The New Yorker essays, for example, have later appeared in shortened form in publications such as England's The Observer Magazine or Germany's Die Zeit.

There is a strong market for such serious publications. National Geographic has an average circulation of over 10 million, Consumer Reports some 3 million, Smithsonian (published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.) over 2 million copies, Scientific American (U.S. edition) over 700,000, and Saturday Review- and The New Yorker over half a million each. More popular and less demanding publications, such as Family Circle, Woman's Day, or National Enquirer, of course, have a huge readership and sell over 4.5 million copies of each issue. Altogether, there are about 60 magazines in the United States that sell over 1 million copies per issue each, and roughly the same number with more than 500,000 copies per issue.