it’s Cumberbatch Time!

Oh, the humanity! Everyone around the planet gets Benedict Cumberbatch on the cover of Time magazine this week, except the U.S.:

cumberbatchtime

HOWEVER! For the low low price of, oh, US$1000, I will buy a copy of the international edition of Time magazine here in London and mail it to you. I’ll even throw in the shipping for free.

I’m joking, of course.

Unless someone actually wants to take me up on this.

Also: See this thing at Time.com about how angry U.S. fans are. Seriously, Time, you do not incur the wrath of fangirls if you know what’s good for you. So not kidding here.

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Bluejay
Bluejay
Fri, Oct 18, 2013 9:52pm

So the US cover of Time features an analysis by economist Tyler Cowen on how Texas could be the future of America in terms of economic inequality, the fraying of the social safety net, the rise of deregulation, the absence of state income tax, and the (positive and negative) transformations in jobs and living standards, rather than a bread-and-circuses puff piece on an actor?

No wonder Time is a sad, journalistic joke. ;-)

(I’m a Cumberbatch fan, by the way. Hold the tomatoes.)

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bluejay
Fri, Oct 18, 2013 10:29pm

It’s much more often been the other way around: the US gets the puff-piece cover while the rest of the world gets substantial coverage of an important issue.

The thinking behind it remains the same, however: the editors of Time believe American readers to be ignorant of what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Oct 18, 2013 11:39pm

the editors of Time believe American readers to be ignorant of what’s happening in the rest of the world.

That’s a bit of an overstatement, isn’t it? My impression is that, whatever the cover, readers get more or less the same content: even if the hard news piece isn’t featured on the front, the same hard news piece is still inside. (Am I wrong on that?) And US readers get the Cumberbatch piece anyway, cover or not.

I’d be interested to see how much Time relies on its subscribers vs over-the-counter sales. It’s probably fair to say the US covers are designed to appeal to the casual buyer at the newsstand or grocery store, and perhaps Time’s editors are uncharitable to assume that they’re not likely to buy a cover with a serious international topic. But readers get the international stuff anyway once they’ve bought it.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Bluejay
Fri, Oct 18, 2013 11:57pm

Ah, and it turns out that the cover image of Cumberbatch is a full-page photo inside the US edition, only without the pesky Time logo and text to get in the way. Better for bedroom pinups. US readers win! ;-)

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bluejay
Sat, Oct 19, 2013 12:16am

Yes, the interior content is the same. But covers are marketing. And Time’s covers, in many instances, reflect an America insularity and lack of curiosity about the world outside the U.S. See here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/hunterschwarz/time-magazine-covers-in-the-us-vs-the-rest-of-the-world

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Oct 19, 2013 1:14am

I get that. But now I’m not sure whom you’re criticizing. Is it the editors of Time, for “believ[ing] American readers to be ignorant of what’s happening in the rest of the world”? Is it American readers, for actually being incurious about the rest of the world? (And I wonder how accurate that perception is, really.)

I guess I’m also not as upset about the covers because the covers aren’t everything. Yes, they’re marketing, but content matters, and the fact that American readers of Time get to read the same substantial stories as the rest of the world is a good thing.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bluejay
Sat, Oct 19, 2013 3:19pm

I’m not upset about the covers, either.

I’m criticizing both Time and mainstream American audiences, who genuinely don’t seem terribly interested in anything happening outside the US.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Oct 20, 2013 8:37pm

Yes, they and the rest of the American media hardly paid any attention at all to that recent British royal wedding…

Not to mention that recent unpleasantness in Syria.

But seriously, folks…

All the silly cover stories Time has devoted to various celebrities and you criticize them one of the few times they go with a more serious cover story?

Cumberbatch is okay but he is not that big a deal. And frankly, I’m a bit sick of hearing about him.

There are big movie stars who actually exist outside the Anglosphere last time I checked. ;-)

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Mon, Oct 21, 2013 2:03pm

I’m just pointing out the fan reaction. That’s all.