chapter  6
22 Pages

The Nature of Time: How the Covers of the World’s Most Widely Read Weekly News Magazine Visualize Environmental Affairs

WithMark S. Meisner & Bruno Takahashi

Scholars of environmental communication acknowledge the importance of visual

representations in shaping perceptions and actions in relation to environmental affairs.

Unlike with other media, including newspapers, television and film, research on the

visualization of nature and environmental issues in magazines is rare. This study focuses

on the covers of Time magazine, one of the world’s most influential news weeklies.

A dataset that includes all relevant covers from 1923 to 2011 is examined using a

combination of quantitative and qualitative content analysis to analyze the visual

representation of nature and environmental issues. The results show that the presence of

environmental issues and nature on the covers has increased over the decades.

Furthermore, Time takes an advocacy position on some environmental issues, but it is

a shallow one that is weakly argued through less-than-engaging imagery and fails to offer

much in the way of solutions or agency to the reader.