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I'm trying to come up with the right term to refer to a "part" of a magazine. That is, one word that can refer to any "piece of content" within an issue of a magazine: the "leader", any individual "letter from the readers" (not the entire page of "letters from the readers"), any "article" or any other kind of... "content piece".

What do you call these? It can't be "pages", because a "piece of content" can be much less (or more) than one page.

"Entities"? "Content blobs"? I don't even know the correct word in my native language, so I can't translate it to find out.

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  • What's wrong with "piece of content", why do you need a single word? Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 7:21
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    Section of the magazine? Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 8:52
  • "Item"? "element"? "contribution"? Any term is going to be ambiguous and will depend on convention within that publication - does it include advertisements? photographs (separately from articles or together)? cartoons? a table of contents (or part thereof)? masthead? graphs? side bars? do you group editorial notes and author biographies together with or separately from the content to which they apply? etc etc etc.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 16:26
  • If this isn't for a natural language requirement it's off-topic. (E.g. column-names in a database are not natural language.) Please supply a sample sentence where you want to use the word.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 20:34

2 Answers 2

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There doesn't seem to be a single catch-all term.

There is no such word on this thesaurus entry for Parts of newspapers and magazines, by Macmillan dictionary.

I also looked at a number of sources that explain the organization and structure of magazines. Here are two typical examples of those and of the words they use:

Parts of the Magazine
In each magazine, there are a number of items and articles, long and short, that engage and entertain readers. (source)

Structure of the Magazine
Magazines consist of four parts. Cover pages, front of the book, feature well and back of the book. (source)

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  • back of the book? Back cover more likely: front cover and back cover...
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 21:47
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    @Lambie No, that's not what they mean. The source describes the 'back of the book' as follows: This part of the magazine contains the remaining content from the front of the book, shorter articles, news, listings, remaining columns, horoscope and so on. Again just like the front of the book, this part of the magazine follows the rigid structure and design is changed just slightly from issue to issue. (I've updated the post so it links to an archived version of the page.) Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 21:59
  • Well, I worked on at least four mags in my day and never heard that. I guess it's because they were "serious" publications without listings (ads?) and horoscopes...
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 22:02
  • This is a good answer. At the computer magazine where I worked for almost 20 years, each magazine issue (or "book") was divided into seven sections: "front of the book" (masthead, TOC, editor's one-page monthly column, letters to the editor from readers); news section; feature well (extended-length feature articles); top 100 product rankings section; individual product reviews section; how-to section; and "back of the book" (product index pages, advertiser index page, and back-page essay/column). Various other regular one-page columns were scattered across the other sections of the "book."
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jan 6 at 5:53
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The answer I think you’re looking for is “columns”. Like you write a magazine column, “oh that’s my favorite column from the Hollywood Assistant”, etc.

I had the same question, knew the word but couldn’t place it, and thought google would save me. Was disappointed that the closest option was years old with no answers and ChatGPT was the one that ultimately reminded me which word I was trying to remember

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  • A column is a particular type of writing, usually an opinion piece or personal writing by one author.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 7 at 11:20

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