This morning, Time magazine named Pope Francis their Person of the Year.
He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.
On Monday, The New Yorker’s John Cassidy argued that Edward Snowden deserved the honor.
According to Time, its award, which will be bestowed on Wednesday, goes to the person who, in the opinion of the magazine’s editors, had the most influence on the news. By this metric, it’s no contest. In downloading thousands of files from the computers of the electronic spying agency and handing them over to journalists like Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Barton Gellman, Snowden unleashed a torrent of news stories that began in May, when the Guardian and the Washington Post published a series of articles about the N.S.A.’s surveillance activities. Seven months later, the gusher is still open. Just last week, we learned that the agency is tracking the whereabouts of hundreds of millions of cell phones, gathering nearly five billion records a day.
Reason recalls the ten most ridiculous Time cover stories, including the infamous 1995 CYBERPORN story, which was the first time I remember the web collectively and vigorously fact-checking the ass of a mainstream media outlet.
The “principal researcher” for the study that inspired Time’s cover was actually an undergraduate, and experts began picking the study apart the moment the issue hit newsstands. Three weeks after the wee, wide-eyed web surfer cover, Time backpedalled — on page 57 — explaining that real experts say “a more telling statistic is that pornographic files represent less than one-half of 1 percent of all messages posted on the Internet” and that, “it is impossible to count the number of times those files are downloaded; the network measures only how many people are presented with the opportunity to download, not how many actually do.”
The account of how the folks at 4chan hacked Time’s Most Influential Person poll is worth reading for their clever manipulation of the reCAPTCHA mechanism. But the author unfairly dumps on Time.com…it sounds like they knew the poll was being manipulated, did what they could, but were fully aware of the futility of securing such a thing from a large group of determined distributed attackers. (via waxy)
It’s worth noting the difference in Time’s approach to this hack and a similar one from several years ago. In 1999, some friends of mine and I conspired to place ourselves on top of Time’s Digital 50 poll. Scripts were written, readers were enlisted, and a few of us soon passed the likes of Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds on the list. Unlike today, when Time not only let moot stay on the list but win the entire poll, Time repeatedly deleted us from the Digital 50 list entirely and none of us made it anywhere near the final listing. I’d say that’s progress on Time’s part.
In past few years, several prominent US magazines and newspapers have begun to offer their extensive archives online and on DVD. In some cases, this includes material dating back to the 1850s. Collectively it is an incredible record of recent human history, the ideas, people, and events that have shaped our country and world as recorded by writers, photographers, editors, illustrators, advertisers, and designers who lived through those times. Here are some of most notable of those archives:
Harper’s Magazine offers their entire archive online, from 1850 to 2008. Most of it is only available to the magazine’s subscribers. Associate editor Paul Ford talks about how Harper’s archive came to be.
The NY Times provides their entire archive online, most of it for free. Most of the stories from 1923 to 1986 are available for a small fee. The Times briefly launched an interface for browsing their archive called TimesMachine but withdrew it soon after launch.
Time Magazine has their entire archive online for free, from 1923 to the present.
Sports Illustrated has all their issues online for free, dating back to 1954.
The Atlantic Monthly offers all their articles since Nov 1995 and a growing number from their archive dating back to 1857 for free. For a small fee, most of the rest of their articles are available as well, although those from Jan 1964 - Sept 1992 are not.
The Washington Post has archives going back to 1877. Looks like most of it is for pay.
The New Yorker has free archives on their site going back to 2001, although only some of the articles are included. All of their articles, dating back to 1925, are available on The Complete New Yorker DVD set for $40.
Rolling Stone offers some of their archive online but the entire archive (from 1967 to 2007) is available as a 4-DVD set for $79.
Mad Magazine released a 2-DVD set of every issue of the magazine from 1952-2006.
And more to come…old media is slowly figuring out that more content equals more traffic, sometimes much more traffic.
Update: Nature has their entire archive online, dating back to 1869. (thx, gavin)
A look at the newly redesigned Time magazine, available at newsstands today. It’s been noted elsewhere that it looks more like The Economist than it did and that the photo on the cover of Reagan crying is actually a photo illustration…the tear was added digitally.
Update: An interview with the guy who added the digital tear to Reagan. Did that Worth1000-grade Photoshopping really warrant an interview?
Item of note included in the announcement of Luke Hayman’s addition to the NYC Pentagram office: he and Paula Scher are completely redesigning Time magazine, due to launch in January 2007. Hayman was formerly design director at New York magazine.
Time’s White House photographers have a daily photoblog. A good look at the stuff that doesn’t make it into the newspapers or magazines. (thx, pablo)
Time magazine asks Moby, Malcolm Gladwell, Tim O’Reilly, Clay Shirky, David Brooks, Mark Dery, and Esther Dyson about their views on the future: religion, culture, politics, etc. Gladwell: “If I had to name a single thing that has transformed our life, I would say the rise of JetBlue and Southwest Airlines. They have allowed us all to construct new geographical identities for ourselves.”