Time (or TIME) is an American weekly news magazine founded in 1923 and read across the entire world. It has international editions for Europe, Asia and Canada and an edition for children. It focuses on politics, culture, social changes, sport, fashion, economics and other current events.
The magazine is best known for electing an annual "Person of the Year". Since 1999, they also elect an annual list of the 100 most influential people of the year.
Its publishing company Time Inc. also produces or produced such magazines as Life, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly. It merged with Warner Communications, who owned Warner Bros., in 1990, resulting in the Time Warner Mega-Corp. But since it was sold off in 2014, Time Inc. is no longer part of Time Warner, which continued to use the Time name until 2018 when AT&T acquired the company and renamed it WarnerMedia. Time-Life Books is a related imprint.
Time provides examples of:
- But Not Too Evil: Ruhollah Khomeini, the controversial supreme leader of Iran, was elected "Person of the Year" in 1979 for his role in leading the revolution that put him in power. While Time was no stranger to picking controversial figures for Person of the Year (having previously featured Adolf Hitler, among others), the choice of Khomeini sparked a big enough backlash to make the magazine far more careful not to elect people that are too "evil" in the public eye, even though later winners like George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump could hardly be considered free from controversy either.
- Cosmetic Award: The "Person of the Year" election is often seen as a badge of honor, not being connected to any kind of a financial reward. Except that's not the magazine's intent.
- Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: The only women to specifically win the "Person of the Year" election have been "The Whistleblowers" (Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley and Sherron Watkins, in 2002) and Melinda Gates (jointly with Bill Gates and Bono, in 2005), German chancellor Angela Merkel (2015), and 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (2019). Before that, four women were granted the title as individuals, as "Woman of the Year" Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). "American Women" were recognized as a group in 1975. Other classes of people recognized comprise both men and women, such as "Hungarian Freedom Fighters" (1956), "U.S. Scientists" (1960), "The Inheritors" (1966), "The Middle Americans" (1969), "The American Soldier" (2003), "You" (2006) and "The Protester" (2011, represented on the cover by a woman).
- Spell My Name with an "S": The magazine (and company) always refers to itself in capital letters.
- We All Live in America: Despite trying to maintain a cosmopolitan image and being read across the entire world the magazine sometimes focuses too much on topics that only Americans would consider to be interesting.
- Since 1996 most people elected to be "Person of the Year" have been Americans. The magazine even went so far to name "The American Soldier" "Person of 2003", despite the fact that the Americans weren't the only troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. So far, the only exceptions have been Irishman Bono (2005), Russian Vladimir Putin (2007), Italian-Argentinian Pope Francis (2013) German Angela Merkel, and Swede Greta Thunberg (2019), not counting general winners like "You" (2006) and "The Protester" (2011).
- When Time tried to elect the "Person of the Century" in 1999 there was criticism that too many names were Americans, and not only that, some of them were solely important to the U.S.A. itself, not the world in general.