Newsweeklies: Which is best?

So it turns out that I have been specially chosen by The Week to be on their “free list.” That’s right, I’m specially entitled to 7 free issues of The Week. Yippee! I’m so special! I have to admit though, I was impressed with this week’s issue. The Week is a unique type of newsweekly because it doesn’t seem to perform its OWN journalism. It sifts through thousands of OTHER news sites/magazines and then provides the week’s news by summarizing snippets of what other news sources have said. Upon first blush, I scorned this lack of “true” journalism. But after reading through the magazine, I realized that it was actually a very useful source of information. I, certainly, don’t have time to sift through all these news sources myself. By doing that work for me, The Week provides news commentaries of different opinions on each topic. How interesting to know how news source B disagrees with news source A. This is something I wouldn’t know if left to my own devices. So I’m going to keep my free issues coming for now, so I can make an informed decision about this magazine in a few weeks. 🙂 

The Week also reviews books, movies, TV shows, art shows, theater, and albums. It has some basic gossip. (I didn’t know we still cared about Mary Kate Olsen??? I had forgotten she even existed!)  

I contrast The Week to another weekly magazine I’ve been receiving: Time. I got a year’s subscription to Time for free, so with much grumblings I accepted its arrival in my mailbox and even tried reading it for a few months. Why grumble, you ask? Because back when Yasser Arafat died I had a PAID subscription to Time, which I had been faithfully reading. I was excited when I saw the issue, because I knew very little about Arafat as a man. I figured: here is a good chance to find out more about him. After all, he may not have been perfect, but at the very least the Nobel committee thought he had an impact on the world. Much to my dismay, none of the articles taught me anything interesting about Arafat. They were all wailings about how pathetic Arafat was, how not even the Palestinians mourned his death. (FALSE–I happened to know some Palestinians at the time). This quote bothered me particularly: 

One of the last images he left to the world–the brief video clip showing the Palestinian leader, shriveled and frail, wearing blue pajamas and a knit cap before he left the West Bank for medical treatment in France–did not reflect the stylings of Yasser Arafat the revolutionary. (Source: The Eternal Agitator, by Lisa Beyer. Time 22Nov 2004).

I’m sure Ronald Reagan spent a lot of time lounging around in his pajamas when he was DYING too!

I felt cheated by Time‘s coverage of Yasser Arafat. I wanted to learn something about him, but what I learned, instead, was that Time doesn’t like Arafat. I have since then come to the conclusion that they’re not fond of Arabs in general. In summary,Time has one, maybe two, articles that I find interesting each week–but those generally aren’t the “weekly news” articles. The rest I am either not interested in, or feel annoyed at their angle. I have decided to cancel my free subscription to Time. If they won’t cancel it, the magazine will descend immediately into my recycling bin henceforth.

The Economist is a newsweekly that I am very happy with. It has fantastic coverage of world news. However, I want another newsweekly to supplement The Economist because it covers US news from an angle that would be most interesting to the world…I need to have some USentric news, as well, so I feel informed about things most Americans care about (and let’s face it, most Americans don’t care about the world). Then again, I suppose if I wanted to read what MOST Americans cared about, I’d be stuck reading celebrity gossip. Yick! /shock But I think you get my intended meaning, anyway. 🙂 I don’t like JUST reading the daily news, because the report-as-it-comes news takes some sewing together to see the whole picture. Newsweeklies are nice in that they do that work for me.  

If anyone has suggestions about other magazines I might enjoy, please do tell. /please

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