To Our Readers

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The creation of a TIME story, unlike the making of politics or sausages, can be a joy to behold. Platoons of journalists fan out across the globe, gathering facts, recording atmosphere and color, interviewing the mighty and the lowly alike. Teams of editors and designers take the fruit of these labors and shape it into a compelling, coherent, concise package of information. But what, you may wonder, gets left on the cutting room floor? The answer, all too often, is some pretty good stuff.
Lately, we have begun letting you see more of that raw material. Since we joined forces last September with CNN and Asiaweek to produce AsiaNow, our expanded Asian website, we have been running the full text of selected interviews online. Take this week: our printed story about the new U.S.-China trade deal contains good quotes from U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, who helped forge that agreement last week in Beijing. And if you log on to www.timeasia.com, you'll find . Her essential remarks are in the printed version of the story; in the Web version Barshefsky describes how she sealed the deal. (Don't miss the part about how Barshefsky, ever the poker player, packed her bags--twice!--and told the Chinese she was heading for the airport.)In previous weeks, AsiaNow has carried longer versions of other key interviews. Satoshi Tajiri, the man who created Pokémon, described how his childhood bug-collecting hobby shaped the wildly successful video game. Burma's opposition leader in speaking of her differences with the country's ruling junta, while . Actor-director-producer , as well as her early mistakes (like showing up drunk for a press conference). Amien Rais, Indonesia's new parliamentary speaker, was able to explain more fully (she did). And South Korean President .

Not everyone revels in such detail. As a newcomer to Pokémon, for instance, I confess I got lost in of that magical realm. But some readers find excess to be reassuring, a sign they're getting their money's worth. That's because with a news story, unlike a sausage, you don't have to consume the whole thing to appreciate that it's all there.