phony centrist position - has moved from right to left
The Economist, while still a great source for world events, claims to be radically centrist. They give examples of endorsements on the right: Thatcher, Reagen - and on the left: Clinton, Obama. This is specious - chronologically, a trend from moving from right to left is clearly discernable.
They may back the right in an election, but rarely when the election is close. The recent claim that a defeat for Labor in the UK elections would probably be good for the country is not impressive because polls predicted that the election was not significantly in play, but a foregone conclusion.
I get the impression quite frequently that the magazine routinely dissembles it's true perspective. While ostensibly calling out misbehavior among climate researchers in the recent issue on the climate controversy, they on balance papered over and downplayed much of the fraud by leading UK scientists - fraud presented quite baldy elsewhere, for example in Der Spiegel:
One got the distinct impression that they were doing damage control.
In this week's article, "What's Wrong with the American Right?", the writer drips with scorn and derision in describing "southern fried crazies", the "hysterical blogosphere", "ravings of Fox News blowhards". Fine - one might say that they criticize the Left as well - and they do. But they rarely skewer the Left; it's generally quite gentle for some reason - in the manner that you might chide a favorite cousin for an indiscretion.
And as to their claim that they're classic free market liberals - while supporting the recent healthcare legislation in the US - give me a break!
an ok weekly news amagzine
"The Economist" is an ok weekly magazine. It covers world politics and economy as well as some amount of technology (I wouldn't call that science, really) and culture. Luckily, it does not publish any celebrity news.
It gives an alright overview over what happened in the world, so I can recommend subscribing to it. However.....
-I do think that the quality of the articles is a bit weak. Especially when it comes to political topics, the number of articles that lack background information, a line of argument and a point is far too high. I often get the impression that the author doesn't quite know what he/she is talking about. I understand that "The Economist" is more focused on the economy side of things, however, it wouldn't hurt the magazine to hire some people that actually know something about politics.
-There is lack of critical analysis in the magazine. Especially when it comes to economy and business news, it would increase the quality of the articles if the authors would do a bit more of their own research and be more critical.
-I would like to read more different opinions on controversial topics. I am a big fan of the concept of publishing Pro/Con articles side by side as it gives a better understanding of different facets of the topic.
-I am also not a big fan of the fact that the authors name is not published, but that is a matter of taste. I have the feeling though that publishing the author names might help me avoiding the really bad articles.
Still, "The Economist" seems to be the best weekly news magazine published in US.
I have been a subscriber to the economist for over 15 years. For the past few years or so I have noticed that the quality of news coverage and analysis has gone downhill. Many subjects are now handled with a kind of facile politically correct treatment that can be had elsewhere at a lower price (or free on the Internet).
There is more breezy opinion and less presentation of potentially conflicting or subtle facts with evenhanded analysis. Certain topics (Israel, President Bush, Global Warming) guarantee a knee-jerk emission of drivel.
Before subscribing read the Economist at a local library for a while - see if it appeals to you first.
Too much of one ideology instead of various views on economics, news, and business
I know that this review is probably going to be rated as not being helpful. However, I think it is important to plainly state my view.
I have really enjoyed The Economist whenever I bought it at a newstand or picked it out of the flight selections. So, I finally went ahead and purchased a subscription. At first I enjoyed the intellectual exercise of looking at world events from fresh points of view, however, after reading several issues I began to see a dissapointingly consistent bias.
I think the reviewers that note that the magazine is "fair and balanced" are guilty of wishful thinking. The "world view" of the writers can accurately be described as "secular humanist".
It began to bother me that the magazine tries to make it appear that they are untethered from bias and prejudice. Every author (or human being for that matter) has a world view shaped by life experience, educational influences, and ideology. It is absurd and disingenuous to say that we are above our individual biases, and that our thoughts do not come from a particular viewpoint. I began to want to know who wrote the individual articles, so that I could avoid the articles by authors that I found to be so biased that they were boorish.
Ultimately I enjoy some aspects of the magazine, just as one would enjoy an unusual dinner guest. But people begin to get tired of a interesting dinner guest that overstays their welcome.
The Economist is good for a read once in a while unless you share their ideology enough to withstand the consistent push of the secular humanist world view.
Have not started to receive the issues yet
You would think that after 30 days, The Economist would have started sending my subscription.
It will make you feel sophisticated, but The Economist is dripping with bias
This review is more of a warning. You will probably very much enjoy The Economist as it will no doubt convince you that you are sophisticated. Do not fall for it! You are just reading a magazine about sophisticated people.
As it turns out, The Economist is plagued by the same thing plaguing journalism in general. Writers need to write a certain number of articles per year. Each article needs to include a certain number of words. Thus the truth is altered in order to have enough stories and to make each story fill enough space. If you passively read this magazine and many others you are letting yourself be hypnotized into believing a skewed version of reality. If you are reading this magazine with your guard up, retaining your skeptical/analytical mind, then why bother reading it at all?
Let your ego go. You can still feel sophisticated without reading what's really just a tabloid with big words.