Two magazines, TIME Magazine and The Economist, have approached their content and their presentation in two different formats. In part possibly because of their original starts, TIME is mainly a United States publication, while The Economist is mainly for Europeans (but it does sell half of its distribution to the states).
The Economist publishes from London, UK. It has been in continuous publication since September 1843. As of 2006, its average circulation topped one million copies a week, about half of which are sold in North America. “Now circulated in 201 countries, most of the growth has come from North America, where average circulation is more than 500,000 (51%) per week. In the UK, The Economist has a circulation of more than 150,000 (15%), and in continental Europe its circulation is more than 200,000 (20%). The remaining circulation is spread between Asia Pacific (11%), the Middle East/Africa (2%) and Latin America (1%).” (Fipp) The published goal of The Economist, "Take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress,” (Wikipedia, Economist) or a critical analysis of current events and policies. This magazine is also attributed to having advocacy journalism, and even calls itself a newspaper but by definition is in fact a magazine.
In some advertising campaigns, the magazine TIME Magazine has suggested that through a backronym the letters TIME stand for "Today Information Means Everything." Interestingly enough a backronym is a form of an acronym where the phrase initially is a common word and later is acronym-“ized,” or the creation of the acronym after the word was in use. TIME was co-founded in 1923 in the United States. Contrary to The Economist’s critical expression is TIME’s light viewpoint, something that is often itself criticized for taking important subjects and making them also fun. TIME's circulation at home in the United States is 4,000,000 weekly, and international circulation reaches 1,460,000 since 2001. (Guinness) Unlike The Economist, TIME doesn’t have editorials. In fact, the only editorial published in its magazine was in 1974, calling for the resignation of Richard Nixon because of Watergate. (TIME Archive) Another offsetting feature is that TIME does a Person of the Year award. An interesting note here is that George W. Bush has won the award two times, and Bill Clinton once himself, even though it could be said that The Economist is the outside perspective it can also be said that TIME is patriotic and still objective while supportive. (TIME Person of the Year) “TIME is also known for its signature red border, which only changed once in the magazine's 80-year history – the issue released shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, which featured a black border to symbolize mourning.” (Wikipedia TIME)
The Economist structures its magazine compact with information. It is famous for its small column widths and very few pictures and advertisements. When The Economist was first published, the term "economism" denoted what would today be termed fiscal conservatism in the United States, or economic liberalism in the rest of the world. "It is to the Radicals that The Economist still likes to think of itself as belonging. The extreme centre is the paper's historical position." (The Economist) The most distinguishing feature of The Economist though is its unwillingness to conform to present day politics of left/right winged perspectives. They don’t present the authors nor the editors names on articles arguing that each article is a collaborative effort.
TIME might present the features of the events, such as a news broadcast would do, like CNN. The Economist has an overwhelming drive to inform the reader on the details of all of the pressing issues of the day, not just those events featured on CNN. An example of this would be TIME covered the death toll and personal stories of family members and friends who were somehow related to the September 11th attacks. The Economist would take such an article and even five years later write about the effects, the country’s lockdown, the reform in security over the security scare, and the continuing impacts. When airport security was loosened, more problems occurred, and The Economist would write a critical approach on what should or shouldn’t be the policy along with such a perspective.
The Economist’s “first grand cause was opposing the protectionist Corn Laws in force in Britain at the TIME. A staunch defense of issues such as free trade has continued to this day, and despite supporting George Bush in his election ("the best of two bad choices"), they have condemned his recent anti-trade moves in the imposition of steel tariffs.” (The Economist) These are obvious economic issues, along with them are strong editorial stances on many more unlikely issues. “An opponent of the death penalty since before it was abolished in the UK and a consistent supporter of gun control, they have recently backed such causes as gay marriage and the legalization of cannabis, while historically supporting Margaret Thatcher and the Vietnam War, and writing a vigorous rebuttal of Naomi Klein's celebrated anti-globalization treatise No Logo, cheekily entitled Pro Logo.”
Friday October 13th, 2006, Article Comparison:
Today the Nobel peace prize was awarded. To give a living example of why The Economist has a completely different take on an event than TIME Magazine consider the following headlines and introductions taken from their home web pages:
Paving the Way Out of Poverty
Bangladeshi Economist Muhammud Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize not for giving to the poor, but for helping them to help themselves.
As the proverb goes, Muhammud Yunus taught Bangladesh how to fish. Beginning only with $27, the 66-year-old former economics professor from Chittagong built an institution which uplifted impoverished millions in his country and, if you listen to him, portends the end of global poverty. His Grameen Bank—which is named after the Bengali word for "village"—extended credit to rural poor, empowering entire communities, and especially women, to work, earn income and improve the conditions of their lives. He spoke to TIME moments before hearing the news that he and the bank he founded had been awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Peace.
(TIME World Article)
Losing its lustre
An anti-poverty campaigner and a bank in Bangladesh have won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The purpose of the prize has become muddled. It may be better to withhold it next time.
BRAVERY is a characteristic shared by most winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. On Friday October 13th, the Norwegian part of the Nobel Institute (a Swedish body that dishes out the other coveted prizes, for science and literature) named the recipient of the 2006 peace award. An unofficial shortlist included a pair of Irish rock stars who have received a lot of attention for trying to promote development in Africa, a Finnish diplomat who works at the UN and who has lobbied for peace in Indonesia and a Vietnamese Buddhist. In fact the award was given to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen bank in Bangladesh, which promotes lending to the poorest, especially women.
But the Nobel committee could have made a braver, more difficult, choice by declaring that there would be no recipient at all. That might ruin a good party—each year the lucky winner (who also gets a cash prize of $1.3m or so) … lavish award ceremony… Some recent examples include a campaign to ban landmines; the promotion of peace in Northern Ireland; efforts to bring democracy to Myanmar (which used to be called Burma).
Withholding the prize for a year, or possibly five, might seem rather callous. But the institute would not be suggesting that the world has become sufficiently peaceful now…
The reason for the institute to withhold the prize, instead, would be to preserve its value. There is a risk that its worth is being eroded as the institute scrambles to find an eye-catching recipient every year…
The headlines have nothing to do with each other. The Economist strongly criticizes this year’s choice of the Nobel Peace prize winner while TIME congratulates. Note the similarity between opening paragraphs that follow the headlines. Both are factual, no opinion is given. TIME goes on with more facts in the rest of the story with highlights on the winner with a dialogue question and answer format. The Economist on the other hand writes a critique. The first sentence of every paragraph in the entire article are points, which additionally now have been underlined for emphasis. Cutting the article a tad are the dot dot dots. The 24 point font of the Headlines was not changed, that similarity is probably just a standard of headline print.
Technically speaking, TIME Magazine reaches more readers in both the United States and Europe. The difference in readership might be better defined in the demographics. TIME is an easier magazine to read, its more picture oriented, and user friendly. Contrary, The Economist is packed full of print, commentary, and editorials. TIME then will more likely be read by a younger reader. Additionally supporting this claim is the “edginess” that The Economist often takes with its photography and art. For instance, one cover was a cactus hand, flaring “the bird,” as well other articles and covers with near/ly pornographic images – those especially of breasts. It seems that The Economist approaches the older male with such enticements combined with quality writing. TIME is kid friendly, and a variety of adults read it as well, often with the case of a user picking up the article to browse for one particular article (while waiting for the dentist for instance). Whereas an Economist reader would sit down and read the entire magazine from cover to cover.
Although the male gender was more targeted in The Economist it is not in TIME. There are no race specific demographics, but The Economist is more of a broad categorizing magazine – always getting international stories. So it could be said that The Economist is more racially diverse in such a sense. Price on the other hand might effect who chooses to read the magazines (offline). The Economist costs $121.00 for 51 issues while TIME cheaply sells 56 issues for $29.95. (Magazines) The exception of readership might lie within the Internet, but it is not clear yet, though it can be assumed that each will find more readership from the teenage years that they would not find offline due to the cost.
Here are two comments/reviews posted by a reader of each magazine:
“I have been a subscriber to The Economist for several years and have found it to offer unparallel coverage of world events. The articles are timely, insightful and have prompted many a stimulating conversation. No other magazine covers events on every inhabited continent. In a nation where our media dumbs down progressively more each year, it is refreshing to have access to intellectually stimulating coverage.” –Washington D.C. (Magazines)
“TIME is a legacy magazine that is as informative today as it was years ago. Though I disagree often with its choices for Person of the Year, at least I am always intrigued by their choice. For a dollar an issue, you can't really go wrong, and when compared to the competition, TIME is by far the superior product.” – St. Louis (Amazon TIME)
Although the legitimacy of these “reviews” is rather spacey and unproven, the underlying point of each is important. The first reviewer points out that The Economist has ownership of a part of the market, “No other magazine covers events on every inhabited continent.” The second reviewer also points out an extremely important point, “For a dollar an issue, you can’t really go wrong.” The Economist might be a premium, but TIME is really cheap and affordable.
Here are Amazon’s artful descriptions on why you should buy each magazine:
“THE ECONOMIST is a weekly news and business publication written for top business decision-makers and opinion leaders who need a wide range of information and views on world events. It explores the close links between domestic and international issues, business, finance, current affairs, science and technology.” (Amazon Economist)
“TIME gives you more than just a weekly news summary. TIME provides insightful analysis of today's important events and what they mean to you and your family--from politics to scientific breakthroughs to human achievement. Plus, TIME helps you keep up with the arts, business, and society. That's why 30 million people worldwide choose TIME.” (Amazon TIME)
Comparing the bolded parts we see how each magazine is marketed. Each essentially says, “Hey, you want to read our magazine – Because you’re a top business decision maker and/or an opinion leader – Because you need to know what events mean to you and your family.”
The two magazines are uniquely different. Each covers similar news, but with contrasting meanings. The Economist dives deeper into the constructive effects on policy and reform. TIME Magazine approaches cultural values and family oriented stories. The Economist costs over four times as much as TIME, marketing to the thinker and “opinion leader,” while TIME reaches over five times as many people and could be considered moreso the common man magazine. Regardless of who reads each magazine, The Economist is considered the controversial magazine and TIME the quick factual news.
(Wikipedia TIME) Time Magazine, 2006, 10/13/06 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_magazine
(Wikipeida Economist)The Economist, 2006, 10/13/06 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist
Archives, articles, and vendors:
(TIME Person of the Year) Time Person of the Year, 2006, 10/13/06 http://www.time.com/time/personoftheyear/archive/covers/1927.html
(FIPP) How The Economist made a million, FIPP‘s Magazine World, issue 44 , 06/02/05, 10/13/06, http://www.fipp.com/Default.aspx?PageIndex=2002&ItemId=12279
(TIME Archive) Richard Nixon and Watergate, 1974, 10/13/06, http://www.time.com/time/archive/collections/0,21428,c_watergate,00.shtml
(Economist Agenda) Losing its luster, Oct 13th 2006, 10/13/06, //www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8045069
(TIME World Article) Tharoor, Ishaan, Paving the Way Out of Poverty, Oct 13th 2006, 10/13/06, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1546100,00.html
(Magazines) Cost analysis, 10/13/06 www.magazines.com
(Amazon TIME) Reviews and pricing, 10/13/06, http://www.amazon.com/Time-12-month-subscription/dp/B00007BK3L
(Amazon Economist) Reviews and pricing, 10/13/06, http://www.amazon.com/The-Economist/dp/B00005NIP1/sr=1-1/qid=1161038087/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-1545580-0167260?ie=UTF8&s=magazines
www.everything2.com search term TIME Magazine