On a Need to Know Basis. They need to know about Afghanistan. We need to know about Annie Leibovitz.

Newsweek offered different covers overseas and at home this week, featuring a close look at violence in Afghanistan for international readers called “Losing Afghanistan” while its U.S. edition focused on photographer Annie Leibovitz for a story titled “My Life in Pictures.”

International editor Fareed Zakaria said the magazines often have different covers because they are tailored to different audiences overseas and in the United States. In the U.S., Newsweek is a mass-circulation magazine with a broad reach, while overseas it “is a somewhat more upmarket magazine for internationally minded people who travel a lot,” he said.

“Afghanistan is sort of the first victory in the war on terror. For that to be going badly is tremendous,” Zakaria said. International editions feature a photograph of what appears to be a Taliban fighter with a grenade launcher.

U.S. editions featured a photo of Leibovitz, one of America’s premier photographers, on the cover with several children.

Zakaria noted that the Afghanistan story was also promoted on the cover of the U.S. editions, and that the magazine had negotiated an exclusive for Leibovitz’s new book.

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