Bhutto from beyond

Parade magazine, that Sunday staple of hundreds of U.S. newspapers, isn’t known for its timeliness. As noted here, events can overtake the “news” in Parade — things happen between publication and circulation that can render stories out of date.

The latest example is a big one. The cover story for the Jan. 6 issue is on Benazir Bhutto, and it went to press Dec. 21, nearly a week before the former leader of Pakistan was assassinated Dec. 27. Parade issued a statement to editors of newspapers that include the magazine in Sunday editions, arguing that the interview with Bhutto is even more relevant now.

Perhaps, but the motivation behind sticking with the out-of-date cover story probably has more to do with the fact that 32 million copies of Parade had already gone out the door.

Now newspapers are working to explain the situation to readers. The Wichita Eagle is using this blog to get the word out, and The News & Observer ran this ad on 8A today. Many readers will probably overlook these efforts and wonder why Parade missed the assassination story. So it goes.

For more, check out:

  • This story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about Parade’s dilemma.
  • The Parade interview, already online at the magazine’s site, with an editor’s note.

UPDATE: The N&O includes a mention of the Parade problem in its “Coming Sunday” promos on the Saturday front page.

FURTHER UPDATE: Not everyone got the word in time. This post is getting numerous hits from people who are trying to figure this out. (Welcome!) Search terms leading them here include “Parade error.” Angry readers are also leaving comments at the Parade site. “Parade should stick with celebrity nonsense subjects such as whether or not Britney is wearing panties,” says one. “Obviously important subjects are beyond beyond their capabilities.”