Adventures with Big Media

So I had this great idea. I’d contact TIME magazine, ask them for a clean PDF version of (and permission to freely reprint) their great article from last week, and then school organizations, leadership associations, bloggers, etc. could point educators to the link or copy the PDF for workshop, conference, and/or training purposes. In other words, we all could leverage the prestige and reach of TIME to actually make the changes the article discussed. And thus my adventures with Big Media began…

My original message

I am the director of
the nation’s only university center dedicated to K-12 technology leadership
issues. Our primary function is to try and help school administrators understand
this "new" (to them, at least) world of technology and what it means for
Your recent article,
How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century, should be required reading for
every K-12 principal and superintendent in the country. Of course I want to help
make that happen! Can you give me more information on how to get a PDF copy of
this article? Would TIME be willing to let us post it on our web site for others
to access? As we (and others) do workshops with school leaders, it would be
great to be able to send them to the article for background
Hope you can help.

TIME’s reply


Thank you for your interest in TIME Magazine.  Unfortunately there are only two options for electronic use of our content:

1. If you wish to link to articles in the archive, there is no charge for the link. 

2. If you wish to post the article onto your website, there is a 1-year fee of $2,000 per article.  The license fee is for text only, since we do not own the rights to the images.

Let me know how you would like to move forward.


TIME Reprints

My second try

Thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately option 2 is well beyond our
budget. Is there no one I can talk to about the possibility of waiving this fee?
Getting K-12 educators access to this single article doesn’t seem like it would
be a big deal on TIME’s end but could have a huge impact on making the kind of
changes the article discusses. If TIME made this freely available to folks, a
lot of school-oriented organization could publicize TIME’s donation of access
and get lots of educators to read the article. This is THE most important issue
facing schools right now and they don’t even know it, more or less talk about
it. It’s amazing how timely and prescient this article is. Can’t TIME help us
help schools?

TIME’s second reply


The link can be posted free of charge, the article will be in the
archive indefinitely.  My apologies for the inconvenience, but I cannot grant
permission to post the actual article.


5 Responses to “Adventures with Big Media”

  1. I saw the same article last week and personally walked the magazine into my principal’s hands. I didn’t tell her “there will be a quiz later,” because I think she gets it.

    I think everyone else in this building is going to get the link.

    Having worked in newspaper business, I am not surprised by the Time answer. Publishing is still wrestling with making money in this relatively new web-based system. Fewer people are buying the paper products choosing instead to get their info from the web.

  2. Henry Luce lives!!!

    I guess at the end of the day it is only about selling stuff. There is such an inconsistency between the point of the article and Time’s response to you. We have something that can make things better for all of us, but you cannot have it. Nice!! Do they not realize they are in the boat too?

    Thanks for trying. I have sent the article all over the place if that is any consolation.

  3. I agree with Paul…. I hate to sound crass but it would seem that Time is more interested in making a profit than making a difference in education. Granted, linking to their article is better than nothing but as Roger pointed out, they’re still stuck (with a good many of their print and electronic counterparts) in the 20th Century model of media distribution and business models.

    Not to joust with windmills, but who is Evelyn’s boss? Surely there’s someone to appeal to, although his/her answer might be the same as Evelyn’s.

  4. I also found this to be an intriguing article, and as an elementary school principal I read it with much excitement. My school district has jumped onto the Read/Write Web bandwagon, and we are committed to teaching the 21st Century Skills to all of our students. This is a district-wide goal that is fully supported by the district administration, the school board, the teachers, and the community.

    I believe the following link will take you to the complete text of the Time article.,9171,1568480,00.html

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