Is Newsweek going soft?

Is Newsweek going soft?  In its cover stories that is. This week it features an interview with Annie Leibovitz, the ace American  woman photographer who secured  the first pictures of Suri, the new baby of Tom Cruise and  Katie Holmes.


The photo on Newsweek's  cover is of the 56 year old  photographer and her own three children.  To those who have suggested that it seems an odd choice for a cover of a newsmag, a spokeswoman for Newsweek pointed out that newsweeklies have always done a mix  of hard and soft covers   – adding that the magazine has the exclusive rights to a book the photographer has written about her life. 


 Plus the fact that the Liebovitz picture – which she took herself with an automatic camera – is only on this week’s domestic issue.  Elsewhere in the world the cover of Newsweek is about Afghanistan and shows a  terrorist with a rocket propelled grenade,


The story in Newsweek’s American edition quotes Liebovitz saying that  taking the pictures of    three months old Baby Suri,  currently  running  in Vanity Fair,  was quite a challenge.


“It’s very hard when the baby is so small” she said.  She spent two weeks shooting the pictures at the ranch style retreat of Tom Cruise in Colorado.  Also in Newsweek are the final pictures she took of her friend  writer Susan Sontag who died two years ago  from cancer  They include a picture of Sointag lying on a bier.  The Liebovitz cover story is titled  My Life in Pictures  For her work for Vanity Fair, Vogue and other Conde Nast publications she is reportedly paid two  million dollars a year,


The interest in the Newsweek cover is due to recent reports that the American newsweeklies are changing tactics and , faced with more  hard news competition from television  and web-sites, planning run more feature-like stories on their covers.  Actually this week’s Time magazine features a close -up  picture of the artificial prosthetic claw which replaced the hand that Time correspondent Michael Weisskopf  lost in Baghdad.   That cover reads 'How I Lost My Hand But Found Myself'.      




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