And Luce and Haddin's prospectus for Time,
they said that they were not interested in
how much information they put between the covers,
but how much they got into the minds of their readers.
That has been in the DNA of Time Inc. from the very beginning.
Luce and Haddin instilled the idea that you could have an opinion.
And I think you're always going to have people
who disagree with you when you come down on one side or the other.
But anytime you can influence the national conversation I think it's important
I've spent a lot of time in the Time Archives over the years.
The fun thing is feeling like a colleague to all of those people who came before.
The technology has changed enormously, the climate has, the new environment has.
But in some basic way, we are all doing the same thing,
telling the stories that we think are most important,
most interesting, most surprising.
There's not a day that goes by that I don't learn something new
in these files about the history of this company.
For instance, Time has had an enormous influence on the English language.
We gave the world words like socialite, racketeer,
homophobia, op art, bobby socks, or televangelist.
We also introduced the term World War II.
Part of the genesis of our magazines was the desire
to inform the public what war was all about.
In 1969 Life published a picture of every single soldier who died during the week.
I think this really helped turn the tide
of public opinion against the war in Vietnam.
I grew up reading Time Magazine's journalism about Vietnam.
And I'm so when I went to Baghdad as Time's correspondent three,
I knew I was part of this legacy.
There was this continum going back 70 years.
There's a tendency these days to pretend like there's no war going on.
At Time our job is to make people pay attention
to things that may not be pleasant, may not make them feel good about themselves,
but are absolutely vital because these are wars
that are taking place in their name and they have to pay attention.
Henry Luce thought that the American public has the right
to see the wages of war, the meaning of war.
And I think that continued with the coverage of the Civil Rights Movement.
Time Inc. magazines had a well-deserved reputation for fairness,
objectivity, and all the rest.
In the civil rights struggle our objectivity slipped, thank God.
You couldn't be neutral in this.
This could not continue.
And Life Magazine photographs did more to bring
that incredibly significant change in the South
than any other medium in the country.
From the very beginning Briton Hadden had Time Magazine trying to cover every single lynching.
Life Magazine back in the 1950s did a groundbreaking expose of segregation.
The Sports Illustrated series in the 1960s,
The Black Athlete: A Shameful Story,
generated the largest amount of mail that the magazine had ever received.
I find the material in the archives endlessly fascinating.
This collection documents the 20th Century into the 21st.
But one of the fascinating things that I've come across in the archives,
certainly the Zapruder film is one.
I was chief of the LA bureau for Life.
Colleagues shouted it to me, Dick, Kennedy's been shot in Dallas.
We landed and our stringer said I heard that there
is a businessman who is out there in Dealey Plaza
with his home movie camera and he got the whole assassination.
I couldn't get anything but his name Abraham Zapruder.
I picked up the Dallas phone book.
Thank God it was a "Z".
I called and this tired voice answered and I said,
am I the first reporter to call you?
He said, yes.
I went to his office.
He said, all right come on in,
I'm about to show the film to two Secret Service agents.
So we went into this little room.
He beamed it up against the wall and the three of us,
two grizzled Secret Service agents and me,
we just went, "uhh".
It was the single most dramatic moment in my entire career.
And I thought, there is no way in hell that I'm going
to leave this man's office without that film.
There are very few days in American history where in one day
something happens that changes the way you look at the world and America's place in it.
The cliche as that you can have anyone where they were
the day they heard about the Kennedy assassination
and decades later they could still tell you.
The same was true of September 11.
There was a real question about, are we at war now?
And if so, with whom?
And what was that going to mean?
The greatest war photographer of our age is Jim Nachtwey.
And it happened that Jim was at home on September 11.
And so of course, he grabs his cameras and runs downtown
and takes pictures that are so extraordinary in capturing
both the heroism and the horrer of that day.
I think himself narrowly missed being burried
with a bunch of firemen as one of the buildings
came down and they hurled themselves into a doorway
as the debris comes over them.
Having someone like him photographing it,
really brought home to us, I think internally, oh,
the war is here now.
If Nachtwey is shooting it, then,
the war is now in lower Manhattan.
You know we presumptuously say that we write the first draft of history.
That was never more true than on that day.
I think the role of Time Inc.'s magazines is
to really explain society in the world to our readers.
The past couple of years there was so much going on
around them that affected their lives,
they were losing money in their stock market accounts, their 401Ks.
Economically the country was falling apart
people were losing their jobs and
I feel like we really rose to the occasion.
It's one thing to go in there cover the unfolding tragedy and then leave.
Very early on we decided that was not how we were going to do it.
We were going to remain focused on the story for a long time.
For the first time on a foreign assignment,
I was accompanied by a video editor.
We were editing on the fly, sending stories in,
putting them up on Time.com, and getting instant response from readers.
Again these are new kinds of commitments over
and above the the enormous commitment we've always given to big stories.
And the fact that we're able to do this
in a very difficult economic environment tells you
something about how serious we are.
Over the last 30 or 40 years our focus has broadened
so much to cover things that are more of interest to women.
In 1947 Life devoted 14 pages to the changing women's role.
It showed one week's work for a housewife.
It so clearly dispelled the comic myth
of the housewife sitting at home eating bon-bons.
This was a 100-hour work week.
In the summer of 1973, Andrew Heiskell
who was our chairman of the board sent a printed dummy
of People Magazine to Clare Booth Luce, Henry Luce's widow.
And it arrived just as she was heading over to the beauty palor
and it immediately caught the attention of her hairdresser and the manicurist.
And she wrote back transcribing the giddy back and fourth.
She said it was destined to be read in every hair dressing salon,
every doctors office, because it was just like eating peanuts.
She couldn't stop once she began.
When we launched the magazine were promising advertisers
that we would sell a million copies every week.
And I was frantically trying to pick covers
that would sell on the newstands.
Telly Savalas was in a show called Kojak, a big,
big hit that summer.
And we shot Telly from the waist up.
I mean this was just a great big blob of glistening flesh.
We must have gotten a score of letters from women saying,
Okay, you showed me the top half of Telly,
when are you gonna show me the bottom half?
We didn't quite understand but, it's been happily making money ever since.
These magazines are shorthand for what's on the public's mind.
If there is one word that sums up everything would deliver to the reader,
it is understand.
You can get news anywhere, but if you want to understand
what's going on, that's what we want.
And people, 10 years from now, 20 years from now,
100 years from now, are always going to want that.