National Geographic, formerly the National Geographic Magazine, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society.
It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded. There are 12 monthly issues of the National Geographic per year, plus additional map supplements. The Magazine is available in its traditional printed edition and through an interactive online edition. On occasion, special editions of the Magazine are issued. It contains articles about geography, popular science, history, culture, current events, and photography.
In a National Geographic Press Release, it was announced that in late-2011 that the magazine was circulated worldwide in thirty-six language editions and had a global circulation of 8.3 million. In the United States, the circulation is around 5 million every month.
In May 2006, 2007, and 2011 National Geographic magazine won the American Society of Magazine Editors' General Excellence Award in the over two million circulation category. In 2010, National Geographic Magazine received the top ASME awards for photojournalism and essay. In 2011, National Geographic Magazine received the top-award from ASMEthe Magazine of the Year Award.
The first issue of National Geographic Magazine was published in October 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded. The hallmark of National Geographic, reinventing it from a text-oriented entity closer to a scientific journal, to a magazine famous for exclusive pictorial footage, was its January 1905 publication of several full-page pictures made in Tibet in 19001901 by two explorers from the Russian Empire, Gombojab Tsybikov and Ovshe Norzunov. The June 1985 cover portrait of 13-year-old Afghan girl Sharbat Gula became one of the magazine's most recognizable images.
In the late 1990s and 2000s, prolonged litigation over copyright of the magazine as a collective work in Greenberg v. Natio.