Stephen Palmer Head of marketing The Guardian and The Observer
Anyone who works in the media eventually realises that there is an
inverse relationship between the number of opportunities for a good read
and the time available to do it. If you read all the newspapers and
magazines that pass across your desk, you get fired. But there are some
you make time for. Like Time.
Why? I’m a news junkie; Channel 4 News, World in Action, Nine O’Clock
News, Panorama, News at Ten, Newsnight. Why would anyone go out on
I also confess to trainspotter tendencies. My triumph at a Guardian
trivia quiz, where I named all the stations on the Northern Line, is
only matched by an insatiable appetite for information on what is going
on in the world.
A well-aimed fact is the best way of putting a dull argument out of its
misery. Unfortunately, in a close circle of friends it can only be used
once, then they’ll all be using it. You need to constantly replenish
Third, ever since watching the Rockford Files as a kid, I have been in
love with America.
Time gives me the triple fix. The articles are both well researched and
well presented. The use of pictures, graphics and side boxes instantly
bring you up to speed on those stories you never even imagined you were
interested in. It also gives a considered perspective, topical yet able
to take two steps back and work through the consequences.
Much is written about globalisation in politics, finance, economics,
business, technology etc. Much of it is rubbish.
However, Time has the knack of handling the global in a way that makes
you realise what concerns us here is also a concern half-way around the
The feature on the ‘War against sleaze’ (Time, May 13) shows that while
district auditors are busy cleaning up the councils in London, there is
a surge of similar sanitation happening everywhere, from Colombia to
The same issue also helped part-explain why anyone would pay dollars
211,500 (pounds 141,000) for a set of simulated pearls that have an
estimated value of dollars 500 (pounds 330), simple because they hung
around the neck of Jackie Kennedy.
However, the best bits are in Notebook, a news trivia bore’s weekly
I bet you didn’t know the ex-Polish prime minister had been arrested for
spying, let alone released, and that Tran van Tra was a Vietnamese
general, not a Czech polka.
Whatever else passes across your desk as international news, if you want
to take a ‘big-picture’ look at the world I would recommend making time
This article was first published on Marketing