Time Magazine was recently honored by the American Society of Magazine Editors with the top prize of ‘Magazine of the Year’. My first thought was – how many people actually still read that magazine? The award was for editorial excellence in both print and digital platforms. Being that I have not read an issue of Time Magazine in countless years (print or digital) I might just have to pick up a copy to see what all the fuss is about. When I do I will be in good company since the weekly magazine has a readership of 25 million – 20 million of which are in the United States. Paid circulation (not the same as readership of course) is nearly 12 ½ million.
I can’t say that I don’t read a weekly news magazine since I am subscriber to the Economist but in outside of the Economist I don’t have much use for weekly magazines. There are many weeks that go by that I don’t have time to actually read the Economist and they pile up (ominously since each full issue takes a couple of hours to read if you read it from cover to cover) until I take a trip someplace where I can read them unencumbered. I’ve taken to reading those old issues of the Economist back to front since I have found the content to be consistently more interesting and fun in the back. The front section with topical recent news is pretty boring three weeks after the fact and I’ve already read about the events covered in newspapers and online.
Questions that cross my mind –
1) How is Time Magazine winning awards and still appealing to so many people?
2) If I were to subscribe (hypothetically) could I treat it the way I treat the Economist and when the pile gets big read it from back to front and have the same engaging experience?
3) Not that I need another periodical to read but would I get something out of reading Time Magazine every week? After all it did win a prestigious award. It should be great right?
For me Time Magazine is something I see in a waiting room when I go to see the doctor or dentist. I know
I will incur the wrath of many but sort of akin to the way I look at Reader’s Digest – I’d never pay for it but if I am sitting and waiting someplace and the magazine is there I might pick it up and flip through it.
Reading back over this post I see that I’ve probably defined myself as a magazine snob. If so then I am guilty as charged.
But Time Magazine readers – tell me why you subscribe. Do you enjoy particular writers and/or regular features?