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It's almost a year ago since I started subscribing to Time magazine. I just happened to get a great offer sent through in the junk mail for a year's subscription for £19.99, including a free travel bag. It's a weekly publication with a cover cost of £2.50 so it's not hard to work out this was a pretty good deal and as a bargain junkie it was one that I was powerless to resist.
All in all I'm pretty happy with what I get each week in this magazine. I do find the American bias irritating at times. It is supposed to be Time Europe I'm subscribing too, but sometimes it's hard to differentiate it from an American newsy magazine. In some issues at least 90% of the letters on the letters page are from Americans. Rarely does an issue go by without some sort of extended US orientated feature, despite there being several other continents in the world. It also uses American phrases and spellings, but it's hardly a huge surprise.
That said it does take care to include features on the vast majority of pressing European issues. The accompanying website (magazine subscribers only) is excellent. You logon by using your account number and thereafter can access all archived Time articles dating back to 1985, plus other articles going back as far as 1923.
As I've said, it's a weekly magazine, so it's quite thin, about half a cm thick. I find it ideal for a train or tube journey. I tend to chuck it out afterwards, being a current affairs magazine, it doesn't really lend itself towards collection (especially when you can access past articles online anyhow).
The cover usually corresponds with the leading article, which logically enough, tends to relate to the most dramatic and newsworthy story of the week. This week's edition (26th September 2005, Volume 166) features a photo of a soldier (American of course) in Iraq with the headline 'Is it too late to win the war'. I've been reading the Iraq articles with only a modicum of interest since the angle tends to be pro-Iraq and I am of the typically European (I think) opinion that any six year old who somehow found himself leader of a powerful country would have had more sense than to get involved with this fruitless war. Then two subheadings give clues to other Iraq orientated stories inside. I have to say if I weren't a subscriber this particular cover would never have enticed me to bother reading.
In order to give a clearer flavour of the magazine, I will now go through the current issue and highlight the major features.
Chasing Down the Enemy - page 24 (leading article)
Time introduction: 'The U.S. won a pitched battle in northwestern Iraq, but the victory triggered carnage on the streets of Iraq as the insurgents struck back. How victory at Tall 'Afar fired up the insurgency.'
My opinion: I'm afraid I found this all rather dull. I know the violence going on out there is tragic and terrifying for world peace, but I'm just a bit hardened to it all now. However, I did like the way it was less biased than some and made it clear that the American public is now coming to its senses and in general polls show a majority think Bush has handled the war and Middle East security worse than the aforementioned mythical six year old.
Africa - At Risk (article on Uganda) - page 39
Time introduction: 'Some experts say Uganda is emphasizing abstinence - and religious dogma - over condoms in its fight against AIDS. Could the U.S. be to blame?'
My opinion: Starts of with a bit of soul searching but comes to the happy conclusion that America is 'doing more of everything' and 'the U.S. is the biggest single donor for AIDS prevention in Uganda. An interesting read though on an issue that should be promoted more - the problem of (lack of) contraception in AIDS and famine dominated countries.
United States - Financial Free for All - page 42
Time: 'The cost of rebuilding the Gulf region after Katrina could top $200 billion. But where will all that money come from? And where will it go?
My opinion: Must they always start sentences with conjunctions like 'And' and 'But'. Is it just me that finds that irritating? Ok, maybe it is, I am a bit of a grammar pedant. I guess there are worse things in the world, but I just don't like it!
The article, however, deals with the important subject of rebuilding New Orleans after recent tragic events and is consequently very serious. It provides a well thought out isite into the financial problems facing a politically divided America as they start to make the best of what is left of a once great city.
Europe - Polling day - page 48
Time: 'Ahead of national elections in Poland, two post-Solidarity parties are fighting it out. But it's economics, not ideology, that will dictate who will succeeds.
My opinion: A badly written intro paragraph. I often find the grammar and journalistic tone of this magazine slightly amateurish. The article is quite interesting though, perhaps because I am mostly interested in European politics and have recently been to Poland. It seems a bit more human as well, written almost in the style of a political travel story, rather than a run of the mill piece of political journalism.
Books - Sharp Shooters - page 60
A review of 'Witness: TheWorld's Greatest News Photographers'. Not really my sort of book, but the reviews is well written and the accompanying photos well chosen.
These are just the main articles; each issue of Time also includes plenty of snippets of information on world news, the arts and other current topics of interest. One of my favourite areas of the magazine is the letters page (or pages to be precise, since this section usually takes up 3 pages in all). As I've said before this is often very American focused, but this particular issue seems to disprove my theory with the vast majority of readers' letters coming from Europe.
Although, not as good, in my opinion, as other current affairs magazines, such as The Economist or Newsweek, I think for the money I've paid it is well worth it for over 50 magazines (there is the odd double issue, e.g. around Christmas/ New Year). Unlike many other magazines it is editorial heavy rather than weighed down by advertisements and it makes an interesting flip through read.
The website is a very useful addition to the subscriber package and for £20 a year you can't really beat it. I'm not sure what the current sign up offers are like, although an insert in the issue I have in front of me, is offering up to 72% off the cover price for subscribers in varying deals for 1, 2 and 3 year subscriptions. You also get a free watch, but this looks rather ugly so maybe wait and see what next month's free gift is as they're always giving away something and I've seen better gifts than this.
(nb I originally published this on Ciao under the username SandyJoe)
Please rate yourself on the following scale: (1) extremely busy person; (2) very busy person; (3) likes to look busy kind of guy; (4) student [sorry, I'm not implying students rank fourth in the "busy lifestyle" rating; (5) interested in world events. Chances are that, whatever you rating as per the above (very scientific...) scale, you will connect (to use a very "in" word!) with TIME magazine. It is, yes, a newsmagazine, and those who have during their dooyoo meandering stumbled on a few of my opinions will know that I have an inclination for fiction, so this review might seem strange coming from me. But hey, who says a man's interests can't be diverse? I do, in fact, enjoy reading TIME. Sorry, delete that please. Thank you. Now type as follows: I am addicted to TIME. Ahhh, that's more like it. For some reason probably related to the fact that I devour anything with words printed on top of it (even beneath it for that matter...), I MUST have a copy of TIME readily at hand, and during the week, sandwiched between a couple of other simultaneous reads (oh, and there's work of course), I actually proceed to read every single article therein contained. I'm not kidding. My addiction is so bad that that it's only in the past few months that I've plucked up the courage to skip those articles which are of no remote interest to me (women's health, baseball,...). And I've been subscribed to TIME for over 15 years now! But what's so special about it? Isn't it just another way of keeping up to date with the news? And isn't that what CNN is there for? [Incidentally CNN and TIME now call the same parent company home.] Not if you think the pen is mightier than the tube, it isn't! The magazine is essentially divided into three areas. Following a drastic rebranding exercise a few years ago (when the infamous black lines were introduced to the design of the pages - but tha
t's another, typographical, story...), when these three areas were introduced, the editors have deemed fit to blur the edges somewhat, so that nowadays the casual reader is not conscious of this division. We shall refrain from entering to the merits or demerits of such reasoning here. Anyhow, the three areas are the "tidbits" section (variously called Chronicles, Journal, etc), the main news analysis section, and the arts and media section. I am quite sure that a percentage of readers never proceeds beyond the first area of TIME. In it, over a two-page spread are, in very concise form, the main events of the week worldwide. Also included in this section are the popular letters to the editor, travellers' notes, and what I fondly refer to as the curiosities pages (quotes of the week, satirical comic strips, milestones chronicling births and deaths, and numerical trivia [how many bubbles of air burst in a week over a square metre of the atlantic?!]). This section doesn't exceed fifteen pages, adverts included, meaning that no matter how tight your schedule, you can find a few minutes to skim through it. The second area of the magazine contains the raw material - the in-depth news analysis for which TIME is rightly famed. Weekly events are scrutinised, in a more or less unbiased fashion (although I do have a few qualms about some recent reporting on a few items, especially regarding the domestic US scene), more often than not accompanied by first-hand eyewitness reports. Another item I find fascinating is the short openly-biased viewpoints featured in separate boxes by persons connected in some way to the featured story. Celebrities, it seems, scramble to get invited to write such columns. Thus we had Madonna writing an "op" on Versace's murder, Bill Gates penning [or having ghost-penned by someone - oops, sorry...] on Internet privacy. The third and final area, to which the last few pages are devoted, detai
ls the peccadilloes of the rich and famous, together with the more "grown-up" arts - reviews of plays, of art exhibitions, and of architecture. This is the more cerebral part of the magazine, with something for everyone - from Wright to Picasso to Gehry to Britney. Then of course there is the last page - some people I know browse through TIME merely for this page. It is called People, and it is - how shall I describe it delicately? - a high-gloss, witty gossip page (sorry, but that's what it really is, stripped of the cool comments and snide remarks). So that's it. I love TIME. I love its serious bits, keeping me updated not only on what's going on in the world, but why it's going on. And as soon as I can drag myself out of dooyoo for a couple of hours, I'll be back delving into that article on.......
Time magazine is great - informative, full of colourful pictures, great explanations on every situations, great investigations on world issues, and also never exaggerate the news. It is really suitable for students indeed. Additionally, the English is not that hard - but you still can learn a lot of new vocabularies - which is really suitable for me, a student who is really poor in English. I found that it is really useful in improving my English indeed, especially the writing. Last but not least, it is not expensive which I think every student can afford it. All the news in the Time are up-to-date because it is a weekly magazine. From that I won't feel left behind by the world.
As far as i know, there are only two magazines which cover the worls current issues weekly. One is the Time magazine and the other the Newsweek magazine. Both are currently published in the United States and both basically cover the same thing. I have been subcribing to both magazines one each year for the past five years too get a differnt view of reporting. Basically i think that the Time magazine is a more intersting magazine than Newsweek. It covers more current affairs worldwide, where else i find that the Time magazine can focus quite a lot on politics. Not that politics is not interesting, but when you seem to be only covering and concentrating on American politics weekly, it becomes a drag. This is especially for readers who dont live in the United States. Sure we would be interested in knowing who is to become the next most powerful man on earth but we are not the ones who are going to elect him. So for a magazine with less politics about America, then choose Newsweek unless you are looking for a good bed time story!
The advantage of Time is the diversity of issues covered, and the unbiased approach with which it covers them. Unlike most other current affirs magazines, it takes a truly objective view in reporting domestric and world news. It may not go as indepth into issues as more specialised publications, but it gives a good general coverage of events, and in depth articles on contageous siubjects. It is also very helful for thise studying anythign to do with Amercia since its coverage of amercian news and politcs is among the best avaliable in england, all at a resaonle price as well.
Having subcribing to Time magazine for almost a year, I would rate it the most informative and compact magazine around. It gives you full coverage of almost every current issues round the globe every week. The big word is INTERNATIONAL. I think the British newspapers or the BBC news are too localised. We are not getting sufficient information on the international affairs. They are simply too general. The only way I keep myself abreast with current international issues is through my Time magazine. It gives you better insight on every hot issues from the TV and the topics vary from the rennaisance art to the design of a smart but unpity robot to the fall of the Euro. Don't be a skeptic. It's far from boring, some of the articles do tickle you. Well, the again, I supposed that you can watch BBC knowledge or HardTalk on BBC news 24 for more international affairs. But why don't just have everything in a single handy magazine?