A Changing TIME

5 minute read
Richard Stengel

I’m not telling you anything you don’t know when I say the media world is changing. But as technology evolves and new ways of delivering information emerge, some things don’t change. TIME’S core commitment to explaining the world through great writing, reporting and pictures remains steadfast. In fact, I would argue that in this new dizzying forest of information, it’s become even more important to have a trusted guide.

The most immediate change is right in front of you. The issue you are holding in your hands–or perhaps you’re reading this online–is the first issue of TIME with our new on-sale day, Friday. In fact, it’s the first copy of TIME magazine to go on sale on Friday in more than 50 years. We’ve moved our publication schedule because the news environment has shifted and because we’ve been listening to you. Over and over, we’ve heard from subscribers that they get the magazine early in the week and then put it aside to read on the weekend. The solution was pretty simple: let’s get you the magazine on the weekend when you want it.

At the same time, I believe that getting the magazine on newsstands on Friday helps us set the news agenda, not just mirror it. The traditional newsmagazine was retrospective, looking back at what happened the previous week. But today’s TIME is much more forward-looking, offering you guidance on what’s essential to know going forward. Many news sources give you information; we provide knowledge and meaning.

The new publication date reflects the way the Internet is affecting pretty much everything about the news business. Today our print magazine and TIME.com are complementary halves of the TIME brand. Starting on Jan. 8, you will see a different TIME.com We’ve given the site a long-overdue face-lift, and you will find a sharp, dynamic, constantly updated news site within a new but familiar red border. You’ll see more space to show off our world-class photography, our superb writers and columnists, and now you can start your day by checking our news blog, The Ag, which smartly aggregates and summarizes the most important stories from daily newspapers and blogs around the world.

This issue contains some new sections and departments that reflect our determination to bring you a regular roster of voices and experts on the most vital ideas and subjects under the sun. We are inaugurating a regular history section, which will put today’s news in the context of relevant historical events. Our first section was penned by the great modern historian and Harvard University professor Niall Ferguson, who shows how an act of terrorism in 1914 sparked a worldwide fiscal crisis, and wonders whether history could repeat itself in 2007.

This week marks the beginning of our regular Going Green section, which recognizes not only how important the environment is to people around the world but also how green businesses will be a fundamental engine of change in the 21st century. In his first column, Bryan Walsh, our Tokyo bureau chief, argues that companies have converted to environmentalism not out of a sense of virtue but because it helps the bottom line.

We are reviving a TIME tradition, a Law section, which will be written by Reynolds Holding, a lawyer and former executive editor of Legal Affairs, who has been posting a regular online column for us called Legal Opinion. In our litigious society, the law is a useful prism through which to examine trends. This week he looks at the perils of taking on spammers and what it means for the tension between freedom of speech and a right to privacy.

I’ve always believed that TIME makes a difference in people’s lives but that we need to find a way to help readers make a difference in other people’s lives. To that end, we are starting a section called The Power of One, in which we report on how individuals can make a positive contribution to their communities, their cities, their nations and the world. The revered economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, who led the U.N. Millennium Project, will be a regular contributor. This week he writes a moving piece about what it would take to rid Africa of malaria and the cycle of desperation the disease creates.

Finally, no look ahead to the coming year can be complete without focusing on the story that will preoccupy a great many of us, the 2008 presidential campaign. In this issue, correspondent Perry Bacon Jr. profiles John Edwards, who declared his candidacy in New Orleans last week. Perry is our point person on the ground in the early decision-making states, Iowa, New Hampshire and now Nevada, and in the coming months he will be reporting on what candidates are up to in those key states.

Getting this first new issue closed on time and into your hands has been wonderfully orchestrated by assistant managing editor Bambi Wulf, formerly our chief of reporters. In the coming weeks and months, you will be seeing more changes and innovations in the pages of TIME and on TIME.com Let us know what you think. And here’s to a terrific 2007. Richard Stengel / Managing Editor

[Corrected from original published edition. Lincoln Caplan was editor and president of Legal Affairs. Reynolds Holding was executive editor]

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