Business mags have gotten weird, according to Kantrow
TheDeal.com Executive Editor Yvette Kantrow, who writes a weekly column called “Media Maneuvers,” has a fit in her latest about the most recent cover topic of Smart Money magazine, which claims to have discovered some important ways for all of us to stay healthy, not that that’s a business issue.
Kantrow writes, “SmartMoney certainly leads us to believe so. ‘We’ve scoured the research and interviewed leading longevity experts, cardiologists and dietitians to find unusual and accessible tips that you can apply in five areas of day-to-day life,’ the magazine promises. So, what are some of its brilliant and ‘unusual’ suggestions? Eat less. Move more. Quit smoking. Think positive. No, we are not making this up.”
Later, Kantrow notes that all of the business magazines have gotten weird with their cover topics. She writes, “What is it with the business glossies these days? Whether they are aware of it or not, they all seem to be selling us on a system that requires us to be more and more wired to our jobs without ever questioning the value of that system itself. BusinessWeek last year happily advised us to ‘interweave’ work and family by bringing work home; Fortune recently extolled the virtues of executives who spend their weekends catching up on office e-mail. Now SmartMoney suggests we deal with the ‘current business climate’ by doing breathing exercises at our desks. No wonder we all go home and eat HÃ¤agen-Dazs on the couch. Who has the energy to do anything else?
“Of course, it’s not easy being a personal finance magazine these days. The general public has yet to fully reconcile with the stock market after their bubble-induced falling out, and the general business magazines â€” not to mention The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers â€” continue to broaden their coverage of personal finance topics. One bright spot for the SmartMoneys of the world, however, seemed to be the nation’s growing awareness of the pension crisis and its attendant obsession with saving for retirement. The cover of Money magazine’s April issue, for instance, was about ‘The Money Move You Must Get Right if you want to retire rich.’ But now word comes, in Forbes’ new investment guide, of all places, that maybe we don’t really need to retire rich. ‘While most retirement planners do a fine job of estimating the probability that, with a specific asset allocation and savings rate, you’ll meet a given retirement income target, they don’t do a very good job of answering the bellringer question: What should that target be’? Forbes asks.”
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