Competing for the Best 9/11 Magazine Cover Is Stupid

Bloomberg Businessweek released their September 11th commemorative issue. It's nice, but doesn't matter.

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With the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 coming up next month, magazines will be unveiling their best ideas to commemorate the event. We can expect some to touch us, like Christoph Niemann's recent New Yorker cover following the March Japanese earthquake. Some other big-event attempts may miss the mark, like that odd imagining of Diana at 50 by Newsweek. But as Bloomberg Businessweek showed off its entry -- a tasteful aerial shot with the headline of "The Saving of Ground Zero" -- it came with a refreshing note from their creative director, Richard Turley, pooh-poohing the whole Cover Sweepstakes:

There will be many MANY 9/11 covers in the coming weeks and I’m certain that this will not be the best one of that lot. But, I’m a sucker for aerial photography so I’m easily sold on this one. ...Anyway, I’m quite glad we’ve got our 9/11 cover out the way early, with a short (but good) story inside. These are the issues that posturing editors like to make big grand statements with enormous single topic zeitgeist-capturing feature wells - photo essays, first persons, graphics, essays by eminent thinkers, artist commission photography, covers and imagery, crowd sourced content... the whole shebang. The pressure to perform and make stand-out issues is intense as magazines compete for the imaginary ‘who did the best 9/11 coverage’ awards. I’m already finding it all a bit tiring. 

He is right, of course: no such 9/11 cover awards exist. So, for what are magazines competing? Each others' approval. And to that end, Businessweek's cover has already drawn applause. SplatF's Dan Frommer in a post titled "Bloomberg Businessweek’s stunning Ground Zero cover" commends the magazine.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.