Time Magazine – The Cover Issue

Choosing the right cover has always been crucial and can boost sells. If you’re a musician, a writer or a magazine editor you know what I’m talking about.

To me it’s crystal clear that, what’s INSIDE an album, a book or magazine, is much more important, but down here offer increase everyday and these guys need to look a bit more eyecandy than their neighbour.  It’s called competition.

When I was working for Playboy Italy, things were quiet easy and fun, we just needed to choose the hottest girl around and put her on the front cover.

If you’re working for a weekly magazine called TIME, things might be different. Let’s make an example:

You’re on holiday in Spain and want to buy News Week. You just need to go to a newsstand that sells international press and get your copy of the magazine. They print it in America but it’s available all over the world, and it’s identical wherever you buy it, was it in France, Japan or Italy.

Some magazine may have locals issues, but that’s another story.

At time of writing, a big buzz spread all over the net. A new case of the so called “misinformation”. Lots of web surfers are pretty angry now because this week (N. 22, Vol 178), TIME magazine had two different covers: one for Europe, Asia and South Pacific but a total different one for the American market.

Might be the american audience much more interested in anxiety instead of the international scenarios? Well, it might, but I guess there’s a political reason behind this editorial strategy. Why not showing the american audience what’s going on in Egypt? Would it offend their sensitivity? Or would it descredit and damage the reputation of the american government?


During this year TIME has always reported what was going on, especially in the “Old World”. The Ex Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was heavily attached even just one week before he presented his resignation. This is called “bad timing”.

When Rupert Murdoch Scandal came out, TIME was there to report he news. Was it only a sort of revenge against this heavily powered media guru?

When Euro was born, the American Dollar suffered a great loss of power. All the greatest american economists have always been publicly against the birth of the european currency and it is easily understandable. Before Euro appeared on the markets it was impossible for, let’s say, an italian guy to buy anything in the US and pay it less than in his own country (except gas, maybe). After Euro came, the scenario went upside down and right now, for the europeans, buying goods in America means to really getting a great deal. That’s why all those economists were against Euro, because the American Dollar lost a lot of power. So it’s no surprise to find covers like this one:

Should these covers only reassure Americans about the “grandeur” of their country? Are they intended to discredit everything and everyone outside the “New World”? Do they need to cheer up the public opinion?

The World Wide Web was invented at CERN in Switzerland but first developed in the US. American citizens know really well how to use the internet. Nothing can be kept secret for too long nowadays, especially different covers of the same magazine.

So please stop trying to tell another story. Journalists should always tell the Truth, even when it’s Inconvenient.

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