My addiction to news began as a boy growing up in New York
Our home was always filled with the local newspapers, TV news was in its
infancy and cable and satellite TV was a generation away. And big
national magazines - like Time - dominated the American scene.
Time was an American institution, which is probably why it imported the
formula in its first Atlantic Overseas edition 50 years ago. Now - more
than 2,600 editions later - Time offers Europeans a golden anniversary
So here is a 1947 photo of Jean-Paul Sartre, the writer behind
existentialism, the ’latest incomprehensible fashion from France’. Here
too, the newly crowned Elizabeth II in 1953, a soon-to-be deposed
Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991 and a glowing Emma Thompson in 1993.
They are snapshots of history. The problem is, today there are a lot
more media taking snapshots, and everyone seems to be posing for the
In a world of instantaneous media spin, you realise how difficult it
must be to run a magazine like Time.
Time correspondents, for example, were among the first to wade ashore at
Normandy for the D-Day invasion of the Continent. Today, they would
likely trail TV crews with satellite dishes transmitting ’live’ all
around the globe.
Providing timely and trenchant analysis seems tough, too. The concluding
line of Time’s essay on the future of Europe: ’The Continent is as
lively, inspiring and unpredictable as ever - and is sure to remain so,’
could probably work just as well 50 years from now.
But let’s not be too picky. Time may very well be here 50 years from
This article was first published on Campaign