I’m a news junkie. I’ve always needed a weekly news magazine of some sort. I’ve done Time and Newsweek, but they have too much fluff. The Washington Post has a good weekly edition which I read for a while. But I’ve settled in with The Economist for a while now.
First of all, it amuses me that I read a magazine called The Economist. I mean, if you were starting a magazine from scratch and wanted to make sure that not too many people read it, calling it The Economist would be a good plan. I guess Integral Calculus Weekly was already taken.
It is definitely an intellectual news weekly. Paris Hilton has yet to be covered. There was an interesting article about The Sopranos in last weeks edition (it came out before the final episode), but the article tied The Sopranos to international perceptions of America. No predictions about who would get whacked in the final episode.
It is very international. The editorial staff is both in London and New York, so you get a much more US and British view than you get from Newsweek or Time. There is the occasional article about Sri Lanka that I honestly couldn’t care less about, but overall I like the international view.
It does have a more economic focus than most. I’ve probably learned more about economics just by reading it. The latest edition has an article titled Goldilocks tests the Vindaloo. This is hilarious to me. The title wittily implies that the Indian economy is in danger of inflation. That was obvious, right?
The US has often been referred to (at least recently – particularly under Greenspan at the Fed) as the Goldilocks economy. Not too hot, not too cold, just right. Vindaloo, for those who don’t know Indian food, is a very spicy type of food. Clearly if Goldilocks tried Vindaloo she would say “this porridge is too hot”, so the title implies that the Indian economy is too hot, meaning in danger of inflation. Obvious, right? OK, it wasn’t to me either, but after reading the article I had to chuckle.
And in the same edition there’s a very good article discussing how crime rates are dropping in New York, Chicago and LA, but not in other cities.
There just aren’t many other weekly magazines with such a variety of very intelligent discussion of issues. That’s why I like The Economist.