Stephen Palmer Head of marketing The Guardian and The Observer

Stephen Palmer Head of marketing The Guardian and The Observer

Anyone who works in the media eventually realises that there is an

inverse relationship between the number of opportunities for a good read

and the time available to do it. If you read all the newspapers and

magazines that pass across your desk, you get fired. But there are some

you make time for. Like Time.

Why? I’m a news junkie; Channel 4 News, World in Action, Nine O’Clock

News, Panorama, News at Ten, Newsnight. Why would anyone go out on

Monday nights?

I also confess to trainspotter tendencies. My triumph at a Guardian

trivia quiz, where I named all the stations on the Northern Line, is

only matched by an insatiable appetite for information on what is going

on in the world.

A well-aimed fact is the best way of putting a dull argument out of its

misery. Unfortunately, in a close circle of friends it can only be used

once, then they’ll all be using it. You need to constantly replenish


Third, ever since watching the Rockford Files as a kid, I have been in

love with America.

Time gives me the triple fix. The articles are both well researched and

well presented. The use of pictures, graphics and side boxes instantly

bring you up to speed on those stories you never even imagined you were

interested in. It also gives a considered perspective, topical yet able

to take two steps back and work through the consequences.

Much is written about globalisation in politics, finance, economics,

business, technology etc. Much of it is rubbish.

However, Time has the knack of handling the global in a way that makes

you realise what concerns us here is also a concern half-way around the


The feature on the ‘War against sleaze’ (Time, May 13) shows that while

district auditors are busy cleaning up the councils in London, there is

a surge of similar sanitation happening everywhere, from Colombia to

South Korea.

The same issue also helped part-explain why anyone would pay dollars

211,500 (pounds 141,000) for a set of simulated pearls that have an

estimated value of dollars 500 (pounds 330), simple because they hung

around the neck of Jackie Kennedy.

However, the best bits are in Notebook, a news trivia bore’s weekly


I bet you didn’t know the ex-Polish prime minister had been arrested for

spying, let alone released, and that Tran van Tra was a Vietnamese

general, not a Czech polka.

Whatever else passes across your desk as international news, if you want

to take a ‘big-picture’ look at the world I would recommend making time

for Time.


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