Living abroad has given me the opportunity to view my country of birth through another lens. I have written before about how my perceptions of life in the United States has changed since I moved abroad.
I have also written in the past in this e-space about how I do not like e-books.
This post takes those two concepts and combines them into one.
While I don’t read books on my e-reader on a regular basis, I have found a new non-Angry Birds thing to use my electronic reader for. I use it now to read magazines. Rather than wait the week or two (or three or four or five) it would take my currents events publication to arrive in Thailand, I have opted to have the latest and greatest issue dropped into my e-library. While I enjoy reading about the latest tomfoolery occurring in Washington, D.C., New York City, or Cedar City (Utah), the latest issue I received from TIME magazine gave me pause about said magazine and how they view their audience.
The latest issue (Vol. 182 No. 12) from September 16, 2013, that was downloaded on to my tiny screen has a cover story about paying college athletes. Nothing odd about that as the college football season is starting up in the States so it seems like a timely topic.
However, when I was at our local Thai store, I saw the Asian edition of TIME and was confronted with a different cover. Here, look for yourself…
So the international editors of TIME thought that a piece about Russian President Vladimir Putin should be on the cover. Well, that makes sense too as Putin has been vocal about not attacking Syria for their alleged use of chemical weapons.
But why? Why is there such a difference between the covers of the American edition of TIME and the non-American versions?
I surmise this is because the editors at TIME think the State-side readers are morons.
Here America stands on the brink of yet another war in the Middle East and one the main global players, the Russian President, stands opposed to such a military adventure. This might be a good time for readers from Hawaii to Maine to know more about Mr. Putin, the ex-KGB agent, the man who thinks the chemical attacks in the suburbs of Damascus was done by the rebels. So, it might seem like a good idea to hook the reader into this serious issue by placing Putin’s face on the cover so that the impulse magazine buyer would want to buy TIME. Apparently, the editors at TIME think that people around the world are interested enough in this issue and this man to put Putin on the cover. Also apparently, the editors of TIME don’t think Americans are that interested and resorted to putting a picture of a college athlete on the cover to attract U.S. readers.
I would tend to think that American readers are smarter than that and would be interested to pick up TIME if they same Putin on the cover. But that’s why I’m not an editor.