A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, May 2, 2011

Time Revives a Perennial Cover Theme

Time Magazine has seen better days. The specific role Henry Luce had in mind when he founded the weekly newsmagazine back in 1923 has been superseded by 24/7 television and of course the Internet. Those of us old enough however, remember when being on the cover of Time was the pinnacle of fame (or infamy) in any given week, and the Man of the Year was a huge honor (or opprobrium: both Hitler and Khomeini made it).

Time, which has been struggling to find a role in a changed media environment, has announced a special issue on the death of Bin Laden, with the cover above right.It's a theme they've used before. I recognized it immediately because I have an old copy of Time from 1945 in my parents' scrapbook of World War II.

They first seem to have used it for Hitler.
May 7, 1945

August 20, 1945

The Japan V-J day issue is the only one in which the "X" is black, to contrast presumably with the red rising sun.

More recently, they've revived the theme a couple of times, using it for Saddam Hussein and Abu Mus‘ab al-Zarqawi (below).

ABC news tonight said they'd only used it three times before, but they've used it four. Maybe because Japan was not a person it wasn't counted. In any event, they've returned to an old theme.

All covers copyright Time  and accessible here.

June 19, 2006
April 21, 2003

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