‘Time’ offers a mix of influences

Posted May 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

BABBLING BROOKS column–Express Editor Kim Brooks

Time magazine released its annual list of the top 100 Most Influential People in the World last week. While most lists such as this come out at the end of the year, with so much talk in the national news about world issues and political leaders here at home and worldwide, it seems only fitting a list like this hit newsstands when it did.

Time’s list is like People Magazine’s annual “Sexiest Man Alive” list or, most recently, People’s “Most Beautiful Woman” list. While I’m not sure the criterion for being the sexiest man or most beautiful woman, Time’s list seems based on newsworthy and noteworthy people spanning the world and all facets of life.

This is the 10th anniversary of Time’s 100 list, and I think it’s one of their most diverse.

You have American political figures, TV and movie stars, major athletes, music icons and world leaders. Only a list such this will you see Kim Jong Un among the pages featuring Jay Z and Jimmy Fallon. These people are all influential in their own right.

Something else significant about this annual list, those penning the brief bios of each person are not Time magazine journalists. In fact, friends, co-workers, peers and confidants of these top 100 are writing their own thoughts on why they are so influential. For example, the creator of the popular cell phone photo application Instagram, Kevin Systrom, is on the list. Radio show host, TV show host and producer Ryan Seacrest wrote his bio.

Athlete Derek Jeter wrote the article on fellow athlete Lebron James.

TV news host and legend Tom Brokaw wrote about film writer, producer and director Steven Spielberg.

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton (who is now doing news pieces for NBC) wrote the heartwarming story about Malala Yousafzai. She was 15 years old when she was brutally shot and beaten by the Taliban in Pakistan.

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is now a major advocate for gun control laws, and rightly so. Jim Brady told her story. A name many do not know, but the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in 1994 was named after Jim Brady. He was also the press secretary in the White House under President Ronald Reagan.

Many inventors and creators are featured on the influential people list: Oh-Hyun Kwon, the CEO of Samsung; Markus Persson and Jens Bergensten, the developers of Minecraft; Sam Yagan, CEO of match.com; Ted Sarandos, Netflix developer; and Perry Chen, started the website Kickstarter.

There are world leaders and political figures: Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Duchess Kate Middleton, China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, Pope Francis, New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez, President of Malawi Joyce Banda, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and more.

Sprinkled in with actors, writers, musicians, comedians and more, this list is quite extensive!

Unlike People’s top sexiest person issue, Time’s list offers readers some education when reading about all of these influential people. It’s worth the read!