MAGAZINES' PLANS COVER SPECTRUM

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Magazines seem to share the sentiment that they are just giving the public what it wants to mark one year after Nicole Brown Simpson's murder-for some magazines, that means cover story treatment and for others it means no coverage.

"The media are responsive to public tastes and hungers. The public wants a great deal; we're not forcing it down anyone's throat," said Life Managing Editor Dan Okrent.

"At the basest level, people want to understand the basics of the trial, and they are counting on the daily press and sometimes the weekly press to sort out the point and counterpoint stuff that goes on in the courtroom every day, since no one has time to watch every minute of the trial proceedings," added Harrison Rainie, assistant managing editor at U.S. News & World Report.

But at Entertainment Weekly, Managing Editor James Seymore said: "I think the public would like the media to stop and the trial to stop. The public is fed up with this increasingly depressing circus."

Life's June cover story focuses on how the Brown family and the two Simpson children are coping.

"We thought it would be appropriate at this time to look at the lives of the two children left behind," Mr. Okrent said. "We did this in a non-obtrusive way, through their grandparents, and we were able to do it in a more dignified way than some of the tabloids would have."

Some magazines have opted to do more general cover stories.

"An anniversary provides a moment to take stock of what's occurred, so we are going to look at elements of the criminal justice system and the change in public attitudes since the case began," Mr. Rainie said.

At Time, "we are doing a major profile on the inequities in the justice system for the June 19 issue .....," said Nancy Kearney, public affairs manager.

Entertainment Weekly has no plans for any anniversary coverage. "The trial itself is not entertainment and that word is blazened in big letters on our logo," Mr. Seymore said. "Our readers get upset when we treat the trial as entertainment."

Future coverage "depends on what happens because [the case] is event and opportunity driven," Life's Mr. Okrent said. Mr. Rainie added that U.S. News & World Report "is working on profiles of interesting participants in the trial, and we are thinking about what to do when a verdict is rendered or not rendered, or basically when the dang thing ends."

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