Magazines Catching Eyes, and Clicks
By CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY
Who knew there could be so much controversy left in the subject of breast-feeding?
The recent Time magazine cover featuring an attractive 26-year-old mother suckled by her 3-year-old son — with the headline “Are You Mom Enough?” — proved that an appropriately shocking magazine image can still provoke conversation.
The article prompted a segment on “Saturday Night Live.” The actor Jason Biggs made his own version of the cover and posted it on Twitter. The Huffington Post published nearly two dozen pieces, including a slide show of images of breast-feeding in art history. Even Benjamin Netanyahu, the cover subject this week, jokingly asked Time editors if he would be photographed with his shirt off.
“We had a cover that captured lightning in a bottle,” said Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time. “It’s obviously a story that hit a nerve.”
A Time spokeswoman said the breast-feeding cover was its best-selling issue this year, and Time doubled the number of subscriptions typically ordered in a week.
Taking their cues from digital counterparts, magazines are as interested in hitting nerves on social media as on the newsstand. The Time cover left an even more impressive mark online. On the day after the cover appeared, terms related to the cover were four out of the top five searches on Google. In the eight days after its publication, the cover was mentioned over 50,000 times on Twitter, and themagazine’s Twitter followers spiked. Time also received 43,000 likes on Facebook.