Time Magazine

Time magazine was created in America in 1923 by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden. It was the first weekly news magazine in the US and its founders originally intended to call it Facts. However, because Luce and Briton wanted to keep their magazine brief (something that busy people could read in about an hour), they decided to change its name to Time and use the slogan “Take Time – It’s Brief.”

Largely thanks to its brief format, Time almost immediately surpassed its closest competitor, The Literary Digest. In fact, the magazine was so popular that in “History of Time Magazine” David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace wrote “if Time liked them, they marched or strode; if not, they shuffled, straggled, shambled, plodded, lumbered, barged, swaggered, wobbled, or slouched.”

These days, Time magazine is still the most popular weekly news magazine in the US, and has been since its creation, with the only exception of Newsweek, which briefly overtook Time during the Vietnam War.

“Academics don’t like journalists“

It’s certainly a cliché in Germany to say that academics don’t like journalists. German universities are no longer just ivory towers of knowledge, for degree programs in Wissenschaftsjournalismus – literally academic-journalism – are helping the broader public to understand complex academic and scientific material.

More and more academics, including those from the natural sciences, are teaming up with journalists not only to communicate their findings, but also to gain public relations value for their themselves and their work.

Nonetheless, there are many academics who cringe at thought of being interviewed by journalists. They find it painful to hear from journalists that their work needs to be communicated publikumsgerecht – understandable for the public, for the “man on the street.”

For the academic, for the scientist, this can only mean dumbing down. They fear that the complexity will be so oversimplified that the public will not understand the overall message, its interconnections and mutual interdependencies.

Which is why German academics will always preface their statements with: “If put in a simplified way, the ….” or “In reality it is far more complex than this, but ….”


Gabor Steingart, the Editor-in-Chief of the Handelsblatt, was quoted in June 2015 as stating that Bayer AG is Germany’s most valuable blue chip company. Its shareholders are singing Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers’ praises. 

However, anyone who wants to play devil’s advocate can find enough ammunition in their financial statements. Bayer may be profitable, but German software giant SAP and chemical company Merck are more so. And Bayer’s net financial debt tripled within a year. 

Steingart said that German journalists can’t help but look for flaws. He quoted Stefan Aust, his ex-boss at news magazine Der Spiegel, as saying time and again: What we are more than anything is fault-finders.