After 62 years, JET magazine is leaving the newsstand, ending its print edition, but it will continue in digital format. The compact print publication will be missed in neighborhood barbershops, salons, candy stores, at checkout counters, and everywhere people want a quick read. Scrolling through it on a cell phone just won’t be the same.

When the digest-sized “Weekly Negro News Magazine” began in 1951, publisher John H. Johnson likened it to a jet plane because “In the world today everything is moving along at a faster clip. There is more news and far less time to read it.” You young whippersnappers probably don’t know that he was making a jet-plane pun, since there’s a once-fashionable gemstone called “jet” (whence “jet-black”). After all, he had named Johnson Publications’ flagship publication Ebony.


 “Jet magazine, staple of black press, to end print product, switch to online-only format,” Lonnae O’Neal Parker, Washington Post

“After 6 Decades, ‘Jet’ Magazine Decides To Go All-Digital,” Gene Demby, NPR

“Jet magazine helped chronicle civil rights history for black America,” Lewis W. Diuguid,  Kansas City Star


Shocking the Conscience: A Reporter’s Account of the Civil Rights Movement, Simeon Booker [former Jet reporter], with Carol McCabe Booker, University Press of Mississippi [Amazon]


Short link:

Image (Safeway, Northeast Washington DC) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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