Monday, September 04, 2006

Time on news

Time magazine has called it a day, as far as news goes. Drawing a line under what increasingly obvious -- the news weekly is pretty much dead when it comes to news.

It is the same conundrum that publishers face everywhere, whether your circulation happens to be four thousand or four million as in the case of the Time, which is part of Time Inc and owned by Time Warner.

Time, like its rival Newsweek, faces the same competition that every other news outlet faces from rolling news TV channels and the internet.

Stories no longer hold – they break by the minute, by the hour and throughout the week, leaving a weekly magazine little to add to what has already been said elsewhere.

Time was always said to reflect the world back as a mirror, but new managing editor Richard Stengel says it needs to be more of a "lamp".

"We’ve traditionally been a mirror, and to me, we more and more have to be a lamp. As a lamp, you’re shining a light on something."

As a lamp, rather than a mirror Time will fill its pages with more essays and news analysis, more about, like The Economist, having a point of view.

This will mean big name writers brought in to liven things up, which can only be good for the reader.

Time already has some good writers with the likes of Joe Klein, but Stengel will bring more in. More essayists and writers.

So far, Stengel has hired Ana Marie Cox, best known not as a journalist but as an author of the blog Wonkette, with others set to follow.

The very idea of a weekly news magazine seems terribly old fashioned, but Time is an excellent magazine and one I always enjoy reading, but not for the news, but because it has great features, columnists and pictures.

As the big news weeklies lead the way in abandoning news to the internet, a trickle down effect is now in play that will undoubtedly hit the magazines that we all have on our desktops in the very new future.


At 3:25 PM, Anonymous the online wizard said...

The word on the street and the writing on the wall is clear for all to see. Print is dead. Old news is dead news. Long live online!

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous the online gnome said...

These days the only print titles worth reading are Children Now and Young People Now. Their special projects are fascinating and offer a great return on investment.


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