Browsing Tag: magazines


    In Praise of (TIME) Magazine Journalism

    March 30, 2016

    Actually, this post is more about praise of one specific magazine, although I have said before that I continue to enjoy several magazines.

    The one I’m talking about is TIME magazine, which we just started subscribing to this month. I was at the eye doctor with my daughter a few weeks ago and picked up an issue and read some of it in the waiting area, and was really impressed by the depth of their coverage. Decided to subscribe and our first issue just arrived this week.

    Guess what? I learned more in the first 20 pages of the first issue than I’ve learned in the past three months of watching TV news and reading links found on Twitter and Facebook.

    I had no idea, for example, that — on a per capita basis — Belgium is Europe’s top source of foreign fighters that join ISIS. And that the next big fear among defense and security officials is that ISIS will get its hands on the nuclear materials needed to make a dirty bomb. In fact, when ISIS overran Mosul, Iraq, in 2014, it got access to about 90 pounds of radiological material from a university in the city. Scary, huh?

    I also learned that, even though Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won Burma’s recent election, the military — which controls 25% of parliament — wrote a new constitutional clause that keeps her from becoming president. Instead, a close confidant of hers (and a male) will become president, while Suu Kyi is “expected to take four ministerial portfolios.”

    I learned that President Obama’s visit to Cuba was not as peachy as it appeared on network news. Just hours before Obama landed, Cuban police rounded up dissidents — a reminder, as TIME put it, that the country is still a “police state.”

    I learned that residents of Great Britain will soon be voting on whether their country should remain part of the EU, and how that decision could cause a domino effect across Europe.

    And here at home, I learned about the machinations happening behind the scenes as the Republican party tries to get its convention delegates to vote against Trump in Cleveland later this year. Here’s some background on how both parties handle primaries/caucuses and assigning delegates.

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    All this in just the first 20 pages of the magazine.

    And it made me think about the real value that a weekly news magazine has in this day and age. Cable news, network TV news and even mass online news publications have to fight for attention in the non-stop rush of a 24-hour news cycle. The demand for eyeballs leads to some very sketchy journalistic choices and doesn’t allow much room for the type of reporting depth that a weekly magazine can provide. TIME (and others like it) may be fighting for subscribers, but they don’t need to outdo themselves every day with something more titillating than yesterday’s stories. It’s super refreshing to get actual news and information without all the shouting and “can you top this?” journalism that you find on cable TV and in social media.

    Needless to say, I’m really happy that we started this subscription.


    5 Magazines I’m Still Reading

    February 9, 2013

    I know “print is dead” and all that, but we still get the daily paper and read several magazines here at Casa McGee. We’ve had subscriptions to things like TIME and Sports Illustrated on and off over the years, but both are currently “off.” We also get Costco’s magazine since we’re members there, but I’m not including that since it’s mostly an ad for Costco products.

    Here are five magazines (in alphabetical order) that I’m still reading, even though print is dead.

    Biblical Archaeology Review

    barI’ve been fascinated by Christian-themed discoveries for as long as I can remember. If there was announcement that someone had found an artifact or structure from Jesus’ days (or before/after), I’d read all the articles I could find about it.

    That, coupled with my questions about faith and Christianity in recent years — a very normal thing for Christians to think about — finally prompted me to search for a magazine that would help me read about this regularly.

    I found Biblical Archaeology Review about three years ago, I think. It comes every other month and has articles written by the actual archaeologists who are digging sites (mostly in the Middle East). And lots of interesting photos and sketches.

    I like that it’s focused on archaeology first and foremost; it doesn’t try to convince readers that any certain discovery proves the validity of any particular religion (Christianity, Judaism, etc.). It’s about discoveries and their possible relation to the stories, people, places, etc., that are written in the Bible.

    It’s strengthened my Christianity, though, because it’s been good to see and read about evidence that, in my opinion, proves the validity of certain Biblical stories.

    Ironic how science is strengthening at least one person’s faith. Probably doing the same for many others, too.

    Consumer Reports

    cr-magWe subscribed to Consumer Reports when I was a kid and my parents always left it out for me to read. I went years without reading it, but we started a new subscription probably … 6-8 years ago, maybe?

    We’ve relied on CR to help make major purchases like our washer/dryer, TVs and other electronics. It’s not so much the reviews that matter to me, it’s the information that CR shares about each product. We’ll use it to get a new grill sometime soon, and probably a portable generator, too.

    The magazine has gotten some flack in recent years because it often rates Android devices ahead of Apple devices; if you look at the CR rating number as an opinion, and not a test score, it’s easier to understand. (Plus, CR ratings include price/value and Apple almost always loses on price against its competitors’ products.)

    Now I leave the magazine out every month and both my kids read it. Our daughter can even recite the Consumer Reports‘ reviews and ratings for cars that she sees on the road. The circle of life … alive and well.


    dwell-magI wish I had started reading this one long before we bought our current house. It’s a modern house and there’s not a lot of modern furniture and decor shopping options locally.

    If I’d been reading Dwell before we moved in, we wouldn’t have bought the bedroom set and living room furniture that we have now. That’s not to say I don’t like our current furniture — I do. It’s just that reading Dwell has helped me understand my tastes so much better.

    In every issue, I see ideas and products that would fit perfectly in our house. It’s also helped introduce both Cari and me to new online stores that sell modern furniture — stuff we could never find around town.

    If/When we ever do buy or build another house, I’ll have a much better sense of what I’d like it to be thanks to Dwell.

    Food Network Magazine

    food-net-magI ordered Food Network Magazine as a gift for Cari last year, not long after we moved to our current house — a house that has a bigger kitchen with two ovens so that she can bake and cook to her heart’s content.

    Since we watch several of the shows on Food Network, and since I’ve been enjoying cooking more, too — even getting Iron Chef-y every now and then — I’ve also started reading it.

    The focus is on recipes and there are a ton of them in every issue. Recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners … weeknight dishes or weekend meals (when you generally have more time to cook).

    There’s also a lot of other fun food-related stuff — articles about the Food Network hosts and chefs, food news, quizzes, etc.

    But really it’s about the recipes for me. We’ve tried several of them and they’re always good. Now if only the magazine could help us get our kids to be more open to trying new foods … maybe someday.


    macworldI’ve been subscribing to Macworld for a loooong time.

    For years, every time my subscription came up for renewal, I thought … “That’s it. I’m just gonna let this expire.” And then I’d get the next issue or two and be reminded just how much I get from MacWorld: hardware reviews of all Apple’s releases, articles explaining the latest Mac OS or iOS features, tips on how to take advantage of various Mac programs/products and so much more.

    I haven’t been able to get Cari to read each issue cover-to-cover, but both my kids do. I think they like the iOS app reviews most.

    So now I’ve stopped thinking about letting my subscription expire. I’m sold on MacWorld.

    What magazines do you still read? Or are you doing all your reading online?