'Gay President,' Breast-Feeding Mom: Suddenly We're Talking About Magazines | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

'Gay President,' Breast-Feeding Mom: Suddenly We're Talking About Magazines

Every once in a while, many in the news business seem to rediscover something that's always been rather obvious:

Publishers will put provocative images on their magazines and newspapers — and now their websites — in order to create "buzz" and, they hope, attract readers.

At the end of last week, the chatter was all about Time magazine's "Are You Mom Enough?" cover photo showing, as Eyder reported, a 26-year-old mom breastfeeding her almost 4-year-old son. It was aimed at grabbing attention for a report on "attachment parenting," which as Eyder wrote "encourages co-sleeping and carrying your baby everywhere and breast-feeding sometimes into toddlerhood."

Now, the focus is shifting to Newsweek and its cover image of "The First Gay President" — President Obama, with a rainbow-colored halo about his head. The idea there is to draw readers to Andrew Sullivan's commentary on why Obama, by endorsing same-sex marriage and other issues important to gays, has done more than he's gotten credit for from that community. And, in Sullivan's view, how Obama's "had to come out of a different closet ... to discover his black identity" and thus has had a life experience similar to that of many homosexuals.

A post from the Poynter Institute makes the case that the Newsweek cover is "a flag in the ground that says print journalism still matters." But it concedes that covers don't seem to have stemmed the huge declines in single-copy sales of magazines. And Poynter also doesn't really explore how the discussions about those covers have basically all been online and on TV — mostly among people who almost surely haven't gone out to buy the magazines.

That's why it doesn't seem to us that this is so much about whether "print journalism still matters" as it is about what we said at the start of this post — the power of images.

Feel free to debate in the comments thread — and by all means tell us if any of this has prompted you to go out and buy either or both magazines or to subscribe to them online.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Curb Your Appetite: Save Bread For The End Of The Meal

A hot bread basket is a tasty way to start off dinner. But all those carbs before the main fare can amp up appetite and spike blood sugar. Saving the carbs for the end of the meal can help avert that.
NPR

Why You Should Thank A Caterpillar For Your Mustard And Wasabi

Eons ago, cabbage butterfly larvae and the plants they eat began an evolutionary arms race. The result: "mustard oil bombs" that give the plants, and condiments we make from them, distinctive flavors.
WAMU 88.5

Troubles In Puerto Rico And Greece And What They Mean For Other Economies

Puerto Rico's governor says the U.S. territory cannot pay its billions in debt. Like Greece, it faces a long road to stability. We look at the fundamental economic problems in Puerto Rico and Greece, and how they could affect economies in the U.S. and worldwide.

WAMU 88.5

Pop Culture Trends in Video Gaming

More women on screen and more exploration are among the trends in video gaming this year. Tech Tuesday explores how pop culture and new technology are changing the gaming experience.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.