07.15.08 Covers

This, Dear Reader, is an opportunity for you to tell me what you think before I drown you in my own wonderfully crafted and totally coherent views!

There are two recent publication covers which are, shall we say, intriguing. One, which has been all over the blogosphere, is the recent cover of that hallowed liberal bastion, the New Yorker.  The other is the cover of this past Sunday’s Washington Post.

1. The New Yorker cover for the July 21st:

The New Yorker is known for its liberal bias and its penchant for biting satire.  Questions for you:

  • does this cover qualify as satire?
  • what is satire and are there limits to what doesn’t count?
  • does the fact that the New Yorker published it affect your judgment of this cover?
  • what impact do you think this cover will have?
  • do your head and your heart react differently to this cover?

If you want to read some analysis of this issue before you formulate your own opinion, see pieces in today’s Washington Post and New York Times.

2. This past Sunday, the Washington Post devoted 55% of its front page to a story about  a Capitol Hill intern who was mysteriously murdered seven years ago.  This was the first of what is to be 12 installments. The installments yesterday and today also received above-the-fold front-page coverage. Questions for you:

  • is this story important? why?
  • does the space being devoted to it align with its importance? 
  • do the resources put into researching the story align with its importance?
  • what are the downsides to running this story at all? to the weight it has been given?
  • in choosing this story, do you think the Post is missing anything important?
  • do you think that this choice of story has any broader meaning about the state of the media and journalism in this country?

Of course, Dear Reader, you are welcome to pontificate beyond the sample questions I have posed here.  If you want to share your views with me privately, feel free.  If you want to generate discussion, leave a comment on directly on this site.  After I’ve heard from you, I’ll weigh in.

©2008 Keith Berner
Explore posts in the same categories: Media/Journalism

3 Comments on “07.15.08 Covers”

  1. Marty Ittner Says:

    I am guilty. The Chandra Levy story is pure, unadulterated tabloid fodder: a sexy intern, a slimey Congressman, a murder mystery. RIGHT HERE IN DC! And I’m reading, salivating over every word. I even went to the Post website. It’s so much more satisfying than pondering real problems like offshore drilling, the economy, the war or global warming.

    But like a fast food meal, I end up feeling unsatisfied. The Gary Condit “interview” turned out to be a scratchy recording over an old photo. Her poor parents, struggling to compose. So far, there have been only 1 or 2 salient details that I did not already know. But read the rest of the 12 installments I will. Maybe the Post is saving their big scoop for the big finale. I’m sure they will sell alot of papers in the meantime.


  2. Leon Morse Says:

    I’m not a Bill Maher fan. He needs a sabbatical from his smarmy ego. That said, his quote in NYT about the New Yorker cover sums it up: “If you can’t do irony on the cover of The New Yorker, where can you do it?” Being angry about this is like being angry with the writers of South Park for all the anti-Semitic (or other racist) crap from Eric Cartman.

    The Obama campaign should have just smiled and said, “yes, it is too bad that some people actually belive these things,” and left it there. They’ll learn.


  3. […] Your deafening silence (except for über fans Marty Ittner and Leon Morse*) in response to my challenge questions a couple of days ago, has taught me a lesson.  Never try to off-load the blogger’s job onto the innocent […]


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