Tag Archives: Time magazine

Nancy Gibbs Best Time Magazine Cover Stories

5 of Nancy Gibbs’ Best Time Magazine Cover Stories

Nancy Gibbs Best Time Magazine Cover StoriesTime magazine’s most prolific cover story writer is now its first female managing editor. Of Nancy Gibbs’ more than 150 cover stories, we’ve picked these five as some of her best.

Nancy Gibbs, the most prolific storyteller behind Time magazine’s headlines, has been making the headlines herself this week. As she should by becoming the 90-year-old newsweekly’s first female managing editor.

Hired first as a fact-checker in 1985, she rose through the ranks to become a full-time writer in 1988. Though she assumed editorial roles—executive editor and deputy managing editor—with greater responsibility since that time, she never stopped writing.

It’s no surprise, then, that in her 28-year tenure with the news magazine, she holds the record for most cover stories written—more than 150. That number should continue to grow as she’s already announced she doesn’t plan on giving up writing—either for the magazine or Time’s book division.

Scanning the headlines of Gibbs’ cover stories in the Time magazine archives, she’s overwhelmingly reported on national politics and hot-button issues like religion and reproductive rights—often the stuff on which news magazines are made.

But news is also about perspective. It has the potential to identify what the immediate consequences are, or to place a past event into some kind of current context. It can document how we reacted to a tragedy and, maybe more importantly, how it changed us.

Gibbs has done some of her best work in providing this sort of perspective needed to help make sense of the world around us. When we scoured her lengthy list of cover stories looking for her best, these five emerged as much for their message as for her writing.

1. “A Pilgrim’s Progress,” Time Commemorative Issue, April 11, 2005: This piece captures the emotion of the Pope’s passing with this nearly universally relatable opening: “You feel smaller when your father dies because he was strong and lifted you, carried you and taught you, and when he’s gone the room feels too big without him.”

2. “D-Day 60th Anniversary: The Greatest Day,” Time, May 31, 2004: Six decades removed from World War II, this line is one example of perspective on perspective: “World War II remains the model Good War, and D-day, its greatest day—one of those rare hinges of history that might have bent the other way.”

3. “Seven Astronauts, One Fate,” Time, Feb. 10, 2003: Tragedies like the Columbia’s that took the lives of seven astronauts are always possible, though we don’t often realize it, as summarized here: “Any risk much repeated can become routine, and so it was for shuttle flights, except when they become tragic.”

4. “What a Difference a Year Makes,” Time, Sept. 9, 2002: The 9/11 terrorist attacks spawned a new era of fears and uncertainty—not just in the world in general, but also in some ways in ourselves, as Gibbs captures here: “Holding two contradictory ideas in your head was supposed to be a sign of first-rate intelligence. Now it just feels like a vital sign.”

5. “Life Along the Mississippi,” Time, July 10, 2000: The Mighty Mississippi has been both a help and a hindrance as a force of nature can be. But bringing it under control had more than just positive effects. Gibbs writes: “Anyone who had anything to do with the river discovered long ago that it was too powerful to leave alone, this huge continental drainpipe, and so the great engineers engineered the levees and locks and dams that reduced the number of ships that sank and towns that vanished—but also had the effect of hiding the river behind its walls and leaving the rest to the imagination.”

Time Magazine Boston Marathon_featured

Did Time Magazine Cross the Line by Using This Boston Marathon Image?

Time Magazine Boston Marathon ControversyShocking covers can get a magazine even more attention, but how far is too far? Some say Time magazine’s special tablet-only Boston Marathon edition cover went to the extreme.

The magazine cover depicting the tragic events of the Boston Marathon that’s causing the most stir is ironically one that wasn’t even printed—at least not in the traditional sense.

Rather it’s the cover of Time magazine’s special tablet-only edition that has created something of a divide—even among industry peers—because of its composition and/or its cover subject.

In terms of composition, most who shared their reactions with magazine industry site Folio largely agreed that the photo omitted some of the needed context.

The digital cover features a young boy, crying, with an obvious head wound who is being held by an official.

Going by just what the cover depicts alone, that is all that can be deduced. Though the cover headline “Tragedy in Boston” provides more information, some critics say the image didn’t add anything to understanding the event.

Without knowing that two bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon last week, killing three and injuring more than 200, this scene could have been extracted from any number of tragedies or accidents.

And without knowing the story behind the story of this photo, the image—though still shocking or heart-wrenching—is not as powerful.

The Boston Globe caught up with the police officer who carried the child shown on the tablet cover to safety. Boston Police Officer Tom Barrett told the paper he didn’t know the child’s name or even remember taking him to receive medical attention until he saw the image.

But the side of the debate that is drawing the ire of those outside the magazine industry is the use of a child—one that has obviously been traumatized—as the cover subject.

Most industry designers contacted by Folio acknowledged the bold choice in using the shocking image of an injured child, but often deferred to the lack of context or composition elements that were lacking.

However, The Christian Science Monitor pointed to the Time tablet photo as being the latest in what it calls a “disturbing media trend” of using children in provocative or exploitative ways.

A recent guest blog post on the site surmised that the cover depicting the Boston Marathon aftermath would do more to heighten fears at the expense of an injured child than it would help heal a city or a nation.

In a greater context, the guest blogger lumped Time’s tablet cover in with its controversial breast-feeding image that appeared on a May 2012 issue, decrying both as a means of using innocent children to help garner attention for the magazine.

What do you think? Did Time magazine cross the line with this cover image?


Time Magazine 90 Years_featured

4 Most Impactful Time Magazine Cover Moments of the Last 90 Years

Time Magazine 90 YearsIn Time magazine’s 90 years, the news weekly has reported on plenty of important events and advances. But these four cover moments may have had the most day-to-day impact.

Time magazine celebrated a big milestone recently—90 years of publication. And as publications are often wont to do, the news weekly scoured its extensive collection of covers that span nearly a century and selected one from each year.

Collectively, those 90 covers—ranging from 1923 to 2012—are being billed by Time editors as “All You Need to Know About Modern History in 90 Cover Stories.”

The list is filled with political figures, natural disasters, technological advancements and social change. Think World War II, Hurricane Katrina and the moon landing to stock market crashes, AIDS, abortion and everything in between.

While each cover bears importance, which ones have had the most impact on day-to-day living? Using only the 90 covers that Time editors selected, we’ve come up with these four touchstone moments.

“Mouse and Man,” Dec. 27, 1937: Walt Disney, the king of animation, was featured on the cover at the time of the release of his most ambitious project, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It would be the beginning of the golden age of animation—and would lead to seemingly endless hours over the years of parents watching cartoons (Disney or otherwise) alongside their children.

“The Cybernated Nation,” April 2, 1965: Some 50 years ago, computers were most often used in the fields of medicine and research. Today, there’s not many tasks we don’t turn to the old laptop to do that it can’t do from nearly anywhere. This cover celebrated the “rise of computers in society.” Now many of us would say we nearly can’t function without them.

“If You Want to Humble an Empire,” Sept. 14, 2001: The “where-were-you-when” moment of a new generation came during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, first on New York City’s iconic Twin Towers. Of all its impacts—strengthened airport security, a renewed sense of patriotism, a greater spirit of generosity—there’s no doubt it changed the way we, as Americans, viewed the world.

“Invention of the Year: The iPhone,” Nov. 12, 2007: Close on the heels of the life-changing nature of the computer is the advent of the iPhone—and maybe smartphone technology in general. But it’s the little invention from Steve Jobs’ company that makes our lives ever more mobile, not to mention its design and functionality is widely lauded for being in a class by itself.


Time Magazine Lincoln_featured

Why You Should Read Time and Smithsonian Magazines Before You See “Lincoln”

Time magazine Nov. 5, 2012 coverIf you’re thinking “Lincoln” is a boring history flick, this month’s Time and Smithsonian magazine issues should make you think again.

For all the success of comic book heroes and vampire love stories on the big screen, it may seem a curious move by one of film’s most acclaimed directors—Steven Spielberg—to tackle what at first blush may be a subject best left to history buffs.

But a star-studded cast, some critics have claimed, has breathed new life into the political maneuverings and leadership of Abraham Lincoln, making it a must-see for those history buffs and anyone in need of a civics lesson.

And forget the post-election hangover you may be feeling. After finally getting out from under the inundation of political ads and rhetoric, a film about the highest office in the land may be the last thing you want to see.

Before you judge the movie solely by its cover—or title—check out Time’s Nov. 5 issue or Smithsonian magazine’s November issue. Both preview the film in such a way that highlight how pivotal Lincoln’s leadership was at one of the most crucial moments in the nation’s history.

According to multiple biographical accounts, Lincoln was a man rife with contradiction, as likely to be praised as a champion of equality as he was to be denounced as a racist. He was said to be tyrannical, yet tender-hearted.

Then again, for someone who was described by a close colleague as the “most reticent and mostly secretive man that ever existed,” he was bound to be misunderstood.

“Lincoln,” the Spielberg-directed biopic that opens everywhere on Nov. 16, attempts to help address that. By examining the last four months of the 16th president’s life, the film centers on the passage of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery.

At that time, it was a radical, polarizing issue, yet Lincoln thoughtfully and deftly managed to get it passed. One of Time’s articles on the film tried to draw parallels to present-day presidential hopefuls (the piece was printed before the election) and what they could learn from Lincoln.

As might be expected, Time gave insight into some of the biographical highlights of Lincoln and what is portrayed in the film. It provides a fascinating look at Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrays Lincoln, and his in-depth approach and study of the characters he’s played. (In fact, Spielberg went so far as to address Day-Lewis as “Mr. President” on set.)

Smithsonian magazine examined the historical accuracy of the latest Lincoln film, as well as a recap of the others that have made it to the big screen (and one television adaptation). Of note is a side-by-side portrait of Lincoln, the basis for the iconic silhouette, and Day-Lewis, who bears an uncanny resemblance to him.

“Lincoln” is rated PG-13 for violence and strong language. It is based in part on the book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.


10 Magazines to Help You Start Checking Off Your Holiday Shopping List

Keep pace with the ever-earlier-arriving holiday displays with our Pre-Season Red Tag Sale featuring magazines up to 90 percent off for everyone on your shopping list.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (already) everywhere you go, and the sight of all those snowmen and reindeer can make you feel like you’re already behind. For goodness sake, there’s been no trick or treating and the turkey hasn’t even been basted yet.

But before the holidays spin too far out of control, we can help you at least check a few things off your list with our Pre-Season Red Tag Sale.

With select magazines—some of our most popular titles—70 to 90 percent off, you’re sure to find a gift just about everyone on your list can look forward to all year long. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find.

Cooking Light: For 25 years, this magazine has been making over comfort foods and other indulgences into healthy meals for health and fitness buffs.

Coastal Living: Got an adventurer to shop for? Take them to destinations from coast to coast with this magazine that just recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.

InStyle: No fashionista should be without this bible of inspiration that covers best looks, trends and beauty tips from head to toe.

Sports Illustrated: Help a sports fan get his or her fix with this weekly magazine known for its comprehensive coverage and well-written features.

Entertainment Weekly: Gossip enthusiasts will look forward to weekly updates on their favorite stars plus insight into the hottest television shows and movies.

Time: For news junkies, this weekly newsmagazine is a must, as it goes in-depth into the latest headlines here and around the globe.

Parenting: Parents with children of any age will find plenty of kid-friendly advice in this magazine that’s packed with how to’s, recipes and more.

Field & Stream: Keep your outdoorsman (or woman) ready year round with product reviews on equipment and gear, as well as preparedness tips for any situation.

Outdoor Photographer: This magazine helps the artist behind the camera capture the best in landscape, sports or other outdoor settings with advice and equipment recommendations.

Popular Science: Gearheads will get into this title that explores the inner workings of the latest in technology, science, travel and more.


The 10 Best Magazines to Curl Up With for Great Reads

No time to delve into a good book? No problem. These well-written magazines can be squeezed into the busiest of schedules to satisfy the great read you’re craving.

Sure, you’d love to spend a lazy afternoon getting lost in your favorite book or the latest bestseller. But either there’s not enough time or you can never get more than a few pages or chapters in before an interruption permanently takes you away.

Don’t think you have to give up leisurely reading altogether. Turn to these ten magazines to soak in their longer-form writing that’s still short enough to fit into the busiest of schedules. It’s the next best thing to reading a great book.

The Atlantic: Every page of this magazine is well-written, but the features on the latest social issues—like the effects Facebook has on us, changes in autism diagnoses or whether women can have it all—are the real gems.

Sports Illustrated: Even if you’re not a sports fan—but especially if you are—you’ll appreciate the well-written attention given to topics like agents paying players, Tuscaloosa’s devastating tornadoes and Title IX 40 years later.

Saveur: You’ll want to eat up this delicious writing that explores simple pleasures at home and exotic locales and cuisine abroad. It’s travel-meets-food in its best page-turning—and low-cost getaway—form.

National Geographic: Best known for its breathtaking photos, this magazine’s articles on sociological topics—like the impact of dying languages—and others with an environmental and scientific focus are written just as well.

EatingWell: As if the healthy recipes and nutrition news weren’t reason enough to read, features like the conglomeration of dairy farms and abundance (and health benefits) of salmon put this magazine over the top.

Garden & Gun: This Southern Living-meets-Oxford American publication explores everything Southern through the written word of some of the region’s best writers like Rick Bragg, Roy Blount, Jr., and Winston Groom.

Time: This news magazine provides thoughtful and thorough examinations of the latest political issues like healthcare and changes in international governments, as well as a healthy dose of culture, travel, food and sports.

Smithsonian: There’s a reason it was voted the most interesting magazine in America. Covering a little of everything—history, psychology, medical research, sports—and excellent writing surely had something to do with that.

Wired: Not just for techies, this magazine’s great writing on provocative and timely subjects like hurricane hunters, Olympic athletes and the latest in movies and TV are sure to please anyone looking for an interesting read.

Rolling Stone: If you dig that hip rocker vibe, you’ll enjoy reading it too. This magazine exudes cool in every way—including its writing on politics, social issues, music, television, video games and more music.