COVER STORY COVER-UP:
IS NEWS HEADLINE CENSORSHIP THREATENING AMERICA?
Abstract: Taking the example of Time Magazine’s practice of printing different cover stories for the American and the European editions—in which Europe sees intense, serious images of world events while Americans see softened, playful lifestyle stories—I will analyze what this says about the American readership, and if we can classify this trend as censorship. Time magazine is the leading news magazine in America, yet it shows Americans either a lighter version of world events, or something attractive or personal first, so readers have to dig to learn about important events. I will discuss what this does to the American public intellect and world consciousness, and how this state threatens our democracy. Predicting a conclusion that American media focuses on the trifles of the individual rather than the vital issues and events of international politics, economics, and science—or even art and culture for that matter—I will analyze to what extent this state of ignorance is self-made. Simply put, is the issue of softened news a result of consumer demand, or of manipulation in higher spheres (as with traditional propaganda and censorship)? I will conclude with suggestions on how news outlets might look more to their mission of providing reliable, relevant information instead of maximizing sales, and how the American public might show more discretion in choosing news sources that do not outwardly resemble tabloids.
Keywords: Time magazine, censorship, America
KAIA BARTH is a second year student at the University of Washington in the Honors Program at the University of Washington. She is majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry, and minoring in Global Health, and is following the Pre-Med track to peruse a career in medicine. She currently works as an Undergraduate Researcher at the UW Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. She graduated Valedictorian from Federal Way High School in 2011. Her other interests include history and graphic design, and she intends to study abroad in Norway and Asia. At the UW, she is active in Rotaract Club, Medical Ethics Discussion Club, and works as a lifeguard.