April 18, 2007

“The Week” in review

The WeekLately I’ve been reading a news magazine called The Week. In a recent national survey (PDF), The Week was the only magazine to rank in the Top Ten for being most credible, most objective, and most enjoyable. It’s one of the fastest-growing magazines, but with a circulation that’s only around 10% of Time magazine, you’ve likely still never heard of it. Here’s why I like it:

I don’t have time to read every blog I enjoy. So I use an RSS aggregator to bring all the headlines from my favorite blogs into one place where I can read the highlights and get an idea of what’s happening in the blogosphere. The Week is like an RSS aggregator for magazines and newspapers. This one magazine condenses all the best articles from various sources into one easy-to-digest magazine. Sure, it tells me about Britney Spears’ hairstyle and Don Imus’ career woes, but it also tells me about suicide bombers in Morocco, a kidnapping in Pakistan, and a mysterious cancer afflicting the Tazmanian Devil in Australia — the kinds of stories that fall through the cracks in the mainstream media obsessed with the celebrity of the week and kittens stuck in trees.

Even more importantly, I get perspectives from publications I wouldn’t otherwise read. I may not like the political leanings of National Review, for example, but when their perspective is included in a round-up of editorials on a particular topic, I get a broader view of that topic. And a feature called “How They See Us” lets me know what editorialists in other countries are saying about the United States.

The WeekOne nice feature is “The World at a Glance,” which summarizes major events around the world, along with a map to help put a story into geographical context. The “Briefing” section gives me all the sides of a current issue, including perspectives from several sources — not just a condensed version of a single article. Sections called “The Main Stories and How They Were Covered” and “Best Columns” are valuable (and self-explanatory) features, as well.

There’s light-hearted content, too, including “Good Week For / Bad Week For.” Last week was a good week for manatees, who are no longer facing extinction, but a bad week for Australian rugby star David Kidwell, who tripped over his 2-year-old at a barbecue, injuring himself so badly that he can’t finish the season.

Movie and book reviews are done Zagat-survey-style, using quotes from various reviews to boil down to one rating. It’s like RottenTomatoes, but with a less confusing rating system.

Each 40-page issue is packed with information that gives a broad view of the world in the past 7 days, but none of it is very deep. If I want more information on a particular topic, I still need to look elsewhere. But at least now I know what’s happening in the world as covered by different outlets with different perspectives, including foreign points of view, without the mountain of magazines to wade through.

I’ve been reading The Week for a while, but I decided that now is a good time to mention it because they’re publishing one free issue this week, and it’s going to be on-line only, starting this Friday. Go to their website www.theweekmagazine.com and check it out.


Hi David,

Just as an FYI to your readers, Zagat Survey produces their own Movie Guide. The 2007 Zagat Survey Movie Guide is available on www.ZAGAT.com or in bookstores.


Zagat Survey

Hi Zagat,

Shill much?

As for The Week, I’ll be checking it out, thanks.

My fiancee and I got a subscription to The Week a year ago from her brother, and now when it comes in, we fight over who gets to read it first.

This is definitely a very useful magazine to generally keep up with things going on in the world.

Good review, however, as an ex-“TaSmanian” myself, I find some of your spelling reprehensible! :)

My boss brings The Week into school sometimes. I like to read parts aloud at lunch. My very favorite part is the Good Week for/Bad Week for.

Do you know you also have a reader from Pakistan?

Keep up the good work.

The Week is publishing a special online-only issue this Friday, April 20, in honor of Earth Day. If you’re interested in checking out The Week, visit
theweekmagazine.com to read an entire issue online. (They usually only publish a small number of articles online.)

Wow, I wish I knew of an Australian publication like this.

I’ve been thinking about how one-sided most media is more than usual recently, I think there needs to be a news network that’s willing to put paycheque aside and actually inform people.

I’ll check out The Week when I can.

The Week is the best. Given that it’s nearly impossible to get “the truth” from one news source these days, The Week is the only reasonable way to get multiple perspectives without wasting huge amounts of time or money. It’s also manageable to get through, unlike The Economist. Who has the time to read that behemoth anyway?

Another thing that I love: The Week uses illustrations for its covers!

I got a free subscription for “The Week” for a few months last year. And I didn’t care for it. The depth on every subject is completely missing. And the editors are definitely of the “both sides”—as opposed to “all sides,” or at least “several sides”—mentality. A little too “Reader’s Digest” for my temperament.

I took your advice. I now hold the April 20-27 issue of the week in my hand, and I will never buy another issue of this magazine again. They printed the most shameful, unforgivably stupid factual error I ever hope to see in any publication.

On page 19, there’s an article titled “Equal Rights Amendment: A blast from the past.” In the third paragraph, they wrote, “[…] the ERA’a feminist supporters could not get it ratified by the necessary TWO-THIRDS of the states […]” (Emphasis mine.)

In the third and final paragraph, they wrote, “By law, any amendment to the Constitution has to be ratified by TWO-THIRDS of the state legislatures—that is, 38 states.” (Again, the emphasis is mine.)

They flubbed — twice — a basic fact you learn in a K-12 government class. They also apparently think that there are 57 states in the U.S. It makes you wonder if the article’s writer and editor could pass a U.S. citizenship test. What are these guys smoking?

Wow. That is quite a glaring mistake. Of course the correct answer is that new amendments require ratification by three fourths of the states. But first it must be approved by two thirds of each house of congress. I suspect the mistake was made in confusing these two facts. It’s unfortunate, but every publication makes the occasional factual error, and hopefully they will issue a correction notice in a future issue.

hear hear! i’ve subscribed to The Week pretty much ever since it first appeared. a lovely succinct roundup of the week’s media.

[ps, re the immediately preceding 2 comments, bear in mind that it is a UK-based magazine. that is, they are not US citizens nor have they done this “K12” class you refer to. the various microscopic details of every country’s peculiarities are, true, unlikely to be as reliable as if they were written by a domestic citizen of that country. readers DO need to be aware that the universe does not revolve around their particular country.]

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