‘wired’ [hearts] boobies

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Poynter.org hosted a lively discussion Friday over varying reactions to the recent cover of “Wired” magazine that featured a close-up shot of a woman’s breasts to promo a story on regenerative medicine. Certainly, the cover was provocative. Others, such as Cindy Royal, found it sexist.

“Wired” editor Chris Anderson actually responded to Royal’s remarks in the comment section of her blog. Here’s an excerpt:

This is an issue we wrestle with all the time, and it reflects a combination of things, ranging from not enough high-profile women in the tech industry who are recognizable to sell a cover (every month we cover test a list of names to see which ones people know well enough to want to read about them), to your sense that if we go outside the tech industry for women that this somehow doesn’t count.

First, I have to correct one point: this cover story was not about tissue engineering, it was about *breast* tissue engineering. Of all the covers with cleavage out there, it’s hard to find one more editorially justified than that.

Second, this problem goes beyond women: we have trouble putting *people* on the cover. It’s the same reason: they have to sell, and what sells for us is either big ideas (sans people) or well-known, likable people with interesting things to say. The problem is that there aren’t enough geek celebrities, so we often end up going with celebrity geeks instead. Our Gates and Zuckerberg cover didn’t sell as well as our Will Ferrell cover. I’m glad we did both, but at the end of the day, we have to work on the newsstand to be a profitable business.

I agree with both points, especially the former: It’s a story about breast tissue. A photo of breasts makes sense. Accompanying the story also are diagrams of the surgical process that … wait for it … feature drawings of breasts.

Breasts, breasts, breasts. There. Are we all OK now?


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