Editorially, Newsweek’s plan calls for moving in the direction it was already headed — toward not just analysis and commentary, but an opinionated, prescriptive or offbeat take on events.
The current cover article argues that America’s involvement in Afghanistan parallels the Vietnam War, and a companion piece offers a plan for handling that country. Newsweek also plans to lean even more heavily on the appeal of big-name writers like Christopher Hitchens, Fareed Zakaria and George Will.
Starting in May, articles will be reorganized under four broad, new sections — one each for short takes, columnists and commentary, long reporting pieces like the cover articles, and culture — each with less compulsion to touch on the week’s biggest events. A new graphic feature on the last page, “The Bluffer’s Guide,” will tell readers how to sound as if they are knowledgeable on a current topic, whether they are or not.
Remember what happened last time Meacham tried to get the kids to read Newsweek:
After about an hour, there seemed to be no more questions for him, so Newsweek editor Jon Meacham turned to his audience—about 100 graduate students at Columbia journalism school—and said he had a question for them: Did anyone in the room read Newsweek or Time? There was a small, awkward rumbling before finally, a man shouted, “No!”
Mr. Meacham scanned the audience for his quarry and then asked the journalism student, clad in a black turtleneck, whether he read The Economist. Yes, he did.
“It’s the most talked about and least read magazine,” said Mr. Meacham. “Have you looked at Newsweek?”
“Sure,” said the J-schooler.
“And it’s not up to your standards?”
“I find less useful honestly. The news? I don’t get it from Newsweek. The Economist is more courageous,” he answered.
“The success of The Economist—the fact that you read it, a black-turtlenecked guy at Columbia,” Mr. Meacham began.
The whole thing reminds me of the Pat Boone heavy metal album. Meacham is a sociopathic dweeb and we’ll all be better off when his crappy magazine goes bankrupt. Sorry, but there’s no excuse for this kind of facile stupidity: