“The Watchtower” and “Awake!”—In Appreciation
A columnist writing in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad of July 24, 1990, had this to say regarding Awake! and its companion magazine, The Watchtower:
‘Those who, like me, for two decades have considered the magazines Awake! and The Watchtower [published by Jehovah’s Witnesses] not worth a glance but have chanced upon them recently will be amazed. They have radically changed, both in format and in content.
‘Formerly, in both periodicals, what struck one the most were the drawings: pictures in one color and on newsprint paper. The stories, if I rightly remember, were a sort of Reader’s Digest of the good news and touched only incidentally on difficult world problems, such as war, drugs, sex, and politics.
‘That is completely changed now. Both periodicals are sort of miniature current-affairs commentaries. They are abundantly illustrated with color photographs . . . Now and then one may even admire a somewhat edifying work of art too, such as a reproduction of the apostles at the Last Supper (in The Watchtower of July 1, 1990), but whenever possible, photographs are used. It is noticeable that Awake! goes in a lot for science. In the July 8 issue, there is a piece about the lunar eclipse on August 16 last year, short notes on breast-feeding and on the link between osteoporosis and the level of manganese in the blood, and last but not least, a three-part feature article in which views for and against animal research are presented.’
The writer makes this further observation: ‘With its circulation figure of 11,930,000 copies in 61 languages [now 12,980,000 copies in 64 languages], Awake! forms an inestimable source of scientific news for a very large reading public.’
Of course, The Watchtower and Awake! have ‘radically changed’ in appearance only—not content. For decades now, both magazines have been presenting well-researched articles that point to God’s Kingdom as the only hope for mankind. But it is hoped that the improved appearance of our magazines will result in more individuals reading our journals and benefiting from the life-giving message.
[Pictures on page 9]
Dutch editions of The Watchtower and Awake!