Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Economist

I am frustrated by newspapers - they don’t give me enough information, and they’re always geared to the latest crisis. I want in-depth coverage that includes the background and the consequences of an event. I want high-quality writing and a global perspective. Subscribing to The Economist has proven an effective way to meet my need for information about current events.

The Economist is a dense, information-packed publication. Each weekly issue is over 75 pages and covers politics and economics in every corner of the world. Like many news magazines, they had a special holiday issue. But instead of relying on photos for a recap of the year’s events, The Economist had a variety of articles on so-called “light” topics ranging from the history of cookbooks and the appeal of music to the relationship between Sufism and the Islam of the Taliban. There was a fascinating article about Mexico City’s mayor and his attempts to make the city more livable (from the world’s largest artificial-ice rink in the Zocalo and free Viagra for men over 70 to dedicated bus lanes and cycle paths).

The magazine has regular special reports that are extremely informative. Recent reports have covered the automotive industry in the emerging markets of China, India and Brazil, and the politics and economics of Spain and India.

And the writing is a delight as it is rich and literate. Here’s an example from an editorial column about Britain: “Look at Mr. Cameron’s current image. Labour’s caricature of his astringent economic approach as ‘do nothing’ is unfair but evocative; it has awakened an almost olfactory memory of Tory responses to past downturns.”

A great many of the articles in The Economist are available online, and I would highly recommend taking advantage of this resource if you enjoy good writing and are interested in gaining an international rather than simply a North American perspective on current events.

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