A Letter From The Publisher, Jan. 2, 1950

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Elsewhere in this issue you will find a special section devoted to the first half of this century and to the man whose story comes closest to summing up those years.

As we look ahead to the 20th Century's second half, and back to our own beginnings, I thought you might like to look over our shoulder at the following excerpts from the original prospectus of Founders Henry Robinson Luce and the late the Briton Haddenthe newsmagazine idea. Now, 27 years later, much of it still seems to us to make great good sense.

Although daily journalism has been more highly developed in the United States than in any other country of the world . . . people in America are, for the most part, poorly informed. This is not the fault of the daily newspapers ; they print all the news. It is not the fault of the weekly "reviews"; they adequately develop and comment on the news. To say with the facile cynic that it is the fault of the people themselves is to beg the question. People are uninformed because no publication has adapted itself to the time which busy men are able to spend on simply keeping informed . . .

TIME is interested not in how much it includes between its covers but in how much it gets off its pages into the minds of its readers.

In 1923, when TIME was founded, the most successful U.S. news weekly was the Literary Digest its circulation, at that time 1,172,229. Said the prospectus:

TIME is not like the Literary Digest and is in no way modeled after it. The Literary Digest treats at great length with a few subjects selected more or less arbitrarily from week to week. TIME gives all the week's news in a brief, organized manner. The Digest makes its statements through its time-honored formula of editorial excerpts. TIME simply states. The Digest, in giving both sides of a question, gives little or no hint as to which side it considers to be right. TIME gives both sides, but clearly indicates which side it believes to have the stronger position.

There will be no editorial page in TIME. No article will be written to prove any special case. But the editors recognize that complete neutrality on public questions and important news is probably as undesirable as it is impossible, and are therefore ready to acknowledge certain prejudices which may in varying measure predetermine their opinions on the news. A catalogue of these prejudices would include such phrases as:

1) A belief that the world is round and an admiration of the statesman's "view of all the world."

2) A general distrust of the present tendency toward increasing interference by government.

3) A prejudice against the rising cost of government.

4) Faith in the things which money cannot buy.

5) A respect for the old, particularly in manners.

6) An interest in the new, particularly in ideas.

But this magazine is not founded to promulgate prejudices, liberal or conservative. "To keep men well-informed" now. This is what it had to say, for instance, about Press:

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