Media Blog

TIME Seeks to “Steer the Conversation”

TIME magazine is moving its delivery date from Monday to Friday. Reader Gary B. questions the timing:

I was particularly struck by this comment from Time’s managing editor, Richard Stengel:

Stengel said that the switch in publishing date should help the magazine “set the agenda more, and steer the conversation instead of mirroring it. I want people talking about the news we make.”

Am I the only one who finds that comment revealing?  If an opinion magazine (such as National Review or New Republic, for example) wants to “set the agenda” and “steer the conversation,” that’s one thing.  But when an alleged news magazine starts crowing about “the news we make,” rather than the news we report or uncover, I think it says a lot about what’s wrong with the so-called profession of journalism.

TIME does not try to pass itself off as purely neutral, like most newspapers do. In some cases recently, it has made direct forays into issue advocacy. I’m not surprised its editors want to “steer the conversation” — as Gary points out, that’s what opinion journalism is all about.

UPDATE: A writer at TIME who is “steering the conversation” to Toon Town.


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