The following is not meant to argue that TIME should be more like National Review or vice versa, as they are different kinds of publications; it is merely a statement of the apparent similarities and differences between the two.

first written in early 2000; uses editions of each magazine from that year

Comparison of TIME and National Review

The influence of the media can be seen in many areas of politics, with some types of media having greater influence than others. Television is the most visual and accessible for most people, but magazines also draw a large following in the public.  The ways that they cover the issues of the day, as well as other items of interest such as popular merchandise or events that are happening, can affect the way the public views these political issues.  The packaging of a story, i.e. the way it is presented, can attract more readers and garner a greater amount of influence or draw a greater number of reactions that may help bring an issue into the political forum, or at least help it become important in the minds of voters.  Since magazines have the power to affect the ways voters view issues, each adopts its own tone in order to gain wider support for its points of view on certain issues.  TIME and National Review are two such magazines that differ in the ways they cover the same issues, the political orientation shown in coverage of certain issues, the issues that they decide to cover, and the audience they focus their efforts on.

TIME and National Review do not tend to cover the same kinds of topics, but the political matters they address sometimes focus on similar issues.  However, their coverage of these issues differs very much, as the two magazines incorporate different styles of writing.  For instance, both TIME and National Review have written about espionage after the Cold War, but TIME treated it more as a news item while National Review editorialized the issue.  They both bring up the point that the KGB was able to recruit well-placed traitors, but TIME deals more directly with the actual event that took place in Berlin where former Cold War spies met to tour Stasi, East Germany's spy agency, as part of the CIA's conference on Cold War espionage.  In National Review, the writer focuses more on the personal aspect of the event, going into details about a particular KGB spy and the alleged acts of espionage that took place.

Not only do these two magazines differ in how they treat issues, but they also differ in the political angle they choose to play in covering them.   For example, in dealing with the CTBT, National Review focuses on Clinton's attack on Republicans as isolationists and the writer's opinion in defense and support of the Republican defeat of the treaty.  This is not pegged as an editorial in the magazine, but rather as an article; however, it is very clearly opinionated in favor of Republicans, showing journalistic bias in covering the issue.  In TIME, the issue was first covered as a news item, with an article explaining what went on concerning the CTBT in Congress.  It only promoted a certain viewpoint in the editorial written by Madeleine Albright, whose opinion was published not to inform, but as a clearly-stated opinion

In covering the situation in the Balkans, National Review had an uncharacteristically slightly unbiased and informative article, although it did bring the writer's personal views in at a few points.  The article told about the situation that was discussed at the meeting in Athens and covered the Greek, Yugoslavian, Serbian, and Croatian sides fairly well, bringing the Greek aspect in more as the focus of the story.  In TIME's coverage of the same issue, the writer brought up the same point about Serbia and Croatia that the writer in National Review did, but reported more of the current facts about the issue, as opposed to National Review's coverage of the history of the issue, making TIME's coverage of the issue seem more relevant.

There is also some evidence of political orientation that shows up in each magazine, although it is not prominent in every issue that is covered.  In most of National Review's articles dealing with political campaigns and the current administration, there is clear political orientation shown.  For instance, there are many articles that deal with divisions between and within conservatives and liberals, and the writers tend to show their political orientations very clearly in discussing the issues.  In classifying political figures as conservative, liberal, or a specific subdivision within one of these political breakdowns, the writers make it clear what they think about the candidates they are describing and sarcastically supporting.  Also, in National Review's coverage of the CTBT, the writer shows a clear political disposition towards Republicans, defending them while showing skepticism at Clinton's attack on them as isolationists.  In addition, in one article on the state of the economy, a National Review writer attempts to present both the Democrat and Republican sides equally, bringing up mistakes in both parties' economic policies.  However, he fishes for positive things to say about the Republicans so that they can be presented in a more favorable light, arguing that their mistakes lend themselves to strengthening the party while ignoring similar occurrences in the Democratic party

In TIME, there is clearly much more reporting of events and facts that take place instead of interpretation of such facts.  For example, coverage of the issues over the art exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum of Art did not take sides between liberal and conservative views presented in the article.  It explained them both and gave both viewpoints equal space both visually and content-wise.  Thus National Review has shown itself to be a more Republican and conservative-focused magazine, while TIME  does not show a clear bias either way, although it exhibits a conservative slant on occasion in issues dealing with foreign affairs.

The issues that both magazines decide to cover are usually not alike at all becase of the different styles of publications that they are.  The National Review always covers political issues that deal with the political state of the nation directly, such as medical marijuana or the state of the reform partyTIME, on the other hand, covers a wide variety of issues, ranging from technology to entertainment trends to movie reviews.  They address more issues of a popular national scope, such as the Microsoft case, books, scientific advances, and personal interviews with national figuresNational Review is very editorialized, with almost every story dealing with a political issue on which the writer forms a clear opinion.  A few of its articles address issues slightly outside the political forum, like marriage and Darwinian concepts, but in general, its issues are decidedly politicalTIME defines news very differently, with different types of issues taking the lead every week, and many minor stories on topics of wide public appeal.

The ads published in each type of magazine are somewhat similar in type, but there are a few key differences.  National Review has cigarette, investment, and clothing ads, for instance, that are just like the ones printed in TIME; but National Review also contains more ads targeted to a particular audience, like the ads that reach out to Catholics and people who like classical music. Overall, the ads in National Review appeal to a more conservative and educated reader.  In TIME, there are more ads that appeal to the general public, like Microsoft ads, iMac ads, and ads for automobiles.  Quite a few of TIME's ads, in fact, are for cars, which reaches the slightly more affluent, upper-middle class reader.

Some articles in each magazine appeal to voters of certain political orientations, but because of the two magazines' different styles, they try to create appeal in different ways.  National Review blatantly expresses political opinions in its articles with a decidedly conservative slant, while TIME does not often show a political orientation in its articles and remains fairly news-oriented and neutral on the issues.  The press is guaranteed the freedom to present issues any way they like, as protected by the first amendment, and so National Review and TIME both will continue to inform their readers of issues however they like.  As for public influence, TIME does not try to change public opinion much, but it does present issues in an informative matter.  National Review exerts a great amount of influence and can assert its views in the political forum.

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