New Editor Nancy Gibbs Maps Out What’s Next For Time

  • Share
  • Read Later

Every new editor of TIME gets the chance to reimagine it, and there has never been a more exciting time to do that.

TIME now reaches an audience its founders could have only dreamed of: 50 million people around the world, in print, online, on mobile. That’s partly because there has never been a greater demand for news you can trust, stories that move you, photos you can’t forget, exploration of ideas and individuals who are shaping how we work, play, learn, love, save, vote and parent. TIME’s mission is more vital than ever—not just weekly but daily, hourly, by the minute when news is breaking, and on every platform.

Some of you reading this may never have picked up a copy of TIME in print; we now reach more people on mobile and desktop than on paper. Later this fall, we will relaunch, further increasing the speed, volume and depth of our coverage. We’ve recruited more than two dozen exceptional new reporters, interactive designers and developers, and we are investing every day in new tools that offer endless possibilities for innovation.

Nancy Gibbs, managing editor of TIME

Peter Hapak for TIME

Nancy Gibbs, managing editor of TIME

This summer, for example, we unveiled our interactive TIMElapse project, which mines thirty years of satellite photography to reveal how a village turns into a megacity, a lake into a desert, a forest into an oil field.

As we expand the original video content we offer every day, we also launched Red Border Films with the debut of One Dream, a landmark collection of video, photo galleries, oral histories from those who attended—and helped write— Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. We will present a new original film every month by award-winning photojournalists—along with the story behind the film, what went into making it, interviews with the director and interactive galleries.

We are not just reaching more readers: they are reaching us. We know how much our audience values photography, for example, whether it is fun and surprising, like President Obama’s long lost prom photos, or grim and arresting, like the images of a public execution in Syria that we posted last week. We now expand the range and reach of our photography through our LightBox vertical, our hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, and 11 million people on social media. We are all both witnesses and participants in a visual revolution—10% of all photographs ever taken were made in the last year, 300 million of them uploaded to Facebook every day—and TIME will be inviting readers to share how the world looks through their eyes, sharing the news in real time.

Our purpose is in our very name. Time is valuable; people are busy. We all know we need to stay on top of the news because we’ve been living through a decade of unprecedented change, enormous events that we can neither escape nor ignore. And while there is a vast amount of information available, all that data that can have the perverse effect of making us feel less aware, less informed, unsure what to believe or whom to trust.

It’s no secret that the media has fragmented in recent years, that audiences have been cut into slivers, and that more and more people get their news from ever narrower outlets. But we believe that there is still a national, indeed global, hunger for authoritative voices that speak to the whole country and world, ask hard questions, tell hard truths, go where others can’t, to capture what matters most.

I come from a family of teachers and I believe ideas matter; the good ones deserve reverence and the bad ones defiance. So I am committed to using every new tool— and those not yet invented— to engage readers in a conversation with the world’s best thinkers about what works, what’s smart, what’s scary, what’s stirring, and I will always invite you to help us, challenge us, correct us, join us.

You can find me at