The Verdict

3 minute read

“Time Decided At The Last Minute To Make This The Cover–Why?” That was Bob Schieffer’s question for Time Washington bureau chief Michael Scherer, co-author of the July 29 cover story “After Trayvon,” during a Face the Nation panel discussion on the George Zimmerman trial. Our answer: because it’s driving the national conversation. Maya Angelou and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter both contributed to our cover package, and many readers weighed in as well. Jeff Hanna of Fresno, Calif., praised Nutter’s piece on urban violence, “Stopping the Slaughter,” calling him “the only commentator … NOT to sidestep the uncomfortable fact that thousands of young black men are murdered every year in America, usually by other young black men.” Others, like Roger Leis of Clare, Mich., focused on the jurors, calling Florida’s “stand your ground” law “the real culprit.” A piece by author Michelle Alexander (“The New Jim Crow”) on the “permanent undercaste” prompted hundreds of shares and some calls to action. “Powerful,” tweeted reader Claudia Miles. “We need a … national dialogue on racism NOW.”


“Bravo to James Poniewozik for his well-written piece on the travesty of adding Jenny McCarthy to The View,” wrote Seth Goldstein, a pediatric surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Poniewozik’s argument that McCarthy’s antivaccine rhetoric puts viewers at risk was retweeted by actor Chad Lowe, among others.


In response to Jeffrey Kluger’s piece about the biological benefits of bilingualism, trilingual commenter Polneon wrote, “I’ve been saying that to people all my life. Now I feel vindicated.” On Twitter, Lorna Collier added, “Too bad foreign languages aren’t widely taught starting in kindergarten.”


It would have been easy to illustrate a story on Detroit’s bankruptcy with photos of doom and gloom. But TIME wanted an image that was hopeful–Detroit, after all, is far from dead, and there is much other cities can learn from its missteps. For the cover shot, we turned to the work of photographer Dave Jordano, a second-generation Detroit native (now living in Chicago) who has spent the past three years capturing his home turf–including the homes, the parks and the residents who’ve chosen to remain.


Hoodie x-ray cover is … compelling. If only the social forensics, tho, happened during the trial.


Not really satisfied with this cover story. It doesn’t … encapsulate the national mood.

‘It’s tragic that everyone has turned their back on Detroit. When I’m there, I see perseverance and pride.’

DAVE JORDANO, photographer


Filmmakers Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz recently traveled to North Dakota to document the lives of workers drawn to the state’s booming oil rush. Their short film Black Rush Life–streaming now at–explores the human side of an industry that employs some 30,000 workers in barren, often isolated landscapes. “For many,” director Clusiau explains, “it’s the end of the line. They come out of desperation and loss, and the boom represents another shot at this idea of the American Dream.”

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