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Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. Often, America's cover is quite, well – different. This week offers a stark example.

Witness:

time
Yes, what you see is TIME devoting its cover in international markets to a critical moment in Egypt's revolution – perhaps the most important global story this week – while offering Americans the chance to contemplate their collective navels (with a rather banal topic and supposition, to boot).

This is not an isolated incident, for perusing TIME's covers reveals countless examples of the publication tempting the world with critical events, ideas or figures, while dangling before Americans the chance to indulge in trite self-absorption.

Witness these stunning dichotomies:

time2

time1

time4

time3

Viewing these covers, a question must be asked: do these moments of marketing (through a choice in covers) reveal more about Americans, or about the state of American journalism?

I fear the answer.

                                                           -§-

What Do You Buy For the Children
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, now out from Oneworld Publications.


Author's Note: It should be noted that, in many instances, the cover story projected to international audiences is included, if buried, in the American editions. However, the point is the projection itself – the marketing of a "news" magazine to its various audiences, and what that projection says (or doesn't say).

Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Fri Nov 25, 2011 at 07:26 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics.

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