Rolling Stone knew exactly what it was doing. Aggressive editorial decisions beget huff’n'puff controversy begets sales. Tale as old as time.
So just how well did the Jahar Morrison cover do for Trolling Stone? “The issue has sold 13,232 copies since going on sale on July 19, according to data collected from 1,420 retailers by sales tracker MagNet,” CNNMoney reported on Thursday. “That was slightly more than double the magazine’s average sales in 2012.” Pharmacy rack boycotts and all.
Surely the online version blew away average traffic numbers, too.
The point of the cover is to sell magazines, yes, and Rolling Stone was successful here. But it’s also to entice the buyer into reading the actual article, which was, as noted, an important part of the Boston Marathon bombing story. And it looks like that worked too.
Outrage for outrage’s sake gets us nowhere. Reading how a seemingly innocent, totally dreamy kid grew up almost overnight to pull off terrorizing acts is something from which we can learn.