The Economist BRITISH JOURNAL The Economist, weekly magazine of news and opinion published in London and generally regarded as one of the world’s preeminent journals of its kind. It provides wide-ranging coverage of general news and particularly of international and political developments and prospects bearing on the world’s economy. The publication is known for its social-libertarian slant and maintains that free markets provide the best method of running economies and governments. All articles except special reports are published without bylines (there is also no masthead), thereby presenting to readers a unified face. The Economist was founded in 1843 by Scotsman James Wilson with assistance from the Anti-Corn Law League as a voice against England’s Corn Laws, regulations governing the import and export of grain. Wilson’s son-in-law Walter Bagehot, who served as editor of The Economist from 1861 to 1877, expanded the publication’s coverage into politics and strengthened its focus on U.S. affairs (Bagehot’s name continues to grace the publication, in the name of the column at the end of the section on Britain). In the early 20th century, The Economist’s socially and politically prominent editor Sir Walter Layton (1922–38) was influential in establishing the publication as an authority. By 1938 half The Economist’s sales were overseas. Layton’s successor, Geoffrey Crowther (1938–56), thus continued to expand its foreign affairs and business coverage. The magazine’s in-depth coverage of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 and the subsequent heavy focus on the United States led to a continual increase in American readership, which rose sharply in the 1970s. During the late 20th century the publication continued to expand its coverage to other areas, including the arts and book reviews. In the early 21st century The Economist was completely redesigned to provide enhanced features such as enriched navigational information, full-colour editorial layouts (2001), and an online audio version (2007). In 2009 The Economist had an international circulation of more than one million, with American readership accounting for more than half the total. The Economist also produces an annual forecast of the upcoming year as well as an annual Pocket World in Figures. The Economist is part of The Economist Group, which includes the Economist Intelligence Unit, which provides industry analysis, and EuroFinance, which organizes conferences on treasury strategies; it also publishes analysis of European news through European Voice and U.S. news and politics through Roll Call and CQ Weekly (a Congressional Quarterly publication).
The Guardian British newspaper The Guardian, formerly (1821–1959) The Manchester Guardian, influential daily newspaper published in London, generally considered one of the United Kingdom’s leading newspapers. The paper was founded in Manchester in 1821 as the weekly Manchester Guardian but became a daily after the British government lifted its Stamp Tax on newspapers in 1855. “Manchester” was dropped from the name in 1959 to reflect the newspaper’s standing as a national daily with a positive international reputation, and its editor and editorial staff moved to London in 1964. The Guardian has historically been praised for its investigative journalism, its dispassionate discussion of issues, its literary and artistic coverage and criticism, and its foreign correspondence. The Guardian’s editorial stance is considered less conservative than that of The Daily Telegraph and The Times, its main London competitors, but its reporting is also marked by its independence. The paper was once called “Britain’s non-conformist conscience.” Its editorial approach is credited to the 57-year tenure of Charles Prestwich Scott, which began in 1871, when the paper covered both the Prussian and the French sides in the Franco-German War. As Scott once described his paper’s publishing philosophy, “Comment is free. Facts are sacred…. The voice of opponents no less than of friends has a right to be heard.”
The Huffpost American web site HuffPost, formerly called The Huffington Post, American liberal Web site that offers news and commentary. It was founded in May 2005 by political activist Arianna Huffington, former America Online executive Kenneth Lerer, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab graduate Jonah Peretti. Headquarters are in New York City. The site, originally known as The Huffington Post, was created to provide a liberal counterpart to the Drudge Report, a conservative Web site founded by Matt Drudge. It is free to users and generates revenue from advertising. The site originally featured blogs from unpaid bloggers drawn from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and academia; by 2018 it had some 100,000 such contributors. Huffington served as the first editor in chief of The Huffington Post and was herself a frequent blogger on the site. In 2016 she left the site to start Thrive Global, a health-and-wellness venture. She was succeeded as editor in chief by Lydia Polgreen. From the beginning, The Huffington Post also provided news updates, and in mid-2007 it expanded its coverage to include business and entertainment. In the ensuing years, the site’s focus on news increased—especially in regard to politics—and in 2018 it ended its unpaid blogger program. That year it also introduced two new sections, opinion and personal, both of which feature commissioned pieces; the latter section includes first-person essays.
The Spectator The Spectator, weekly magazine of news and opinion, published in London and widely noted for its critical reviews and essays on political, literary, and economic issues. Its editorial stance is moderately conservative and much more conservative than the larger journals with which it shares its eminence, The Economist and New Statesman & Society. The Spectator has been a serious journal of intellectual discussion since it was founded in 1828. For many years it was noted for its witty essays, but it has turned to more straightforward treatment of political and cultural affairs. It is noted for outstanding book reviews in particular and for the quality of its writing in general. Its influence is much greater than is suggested by its limited circulation.
The New York Times The New York Times, morning daily newspaper published in New York City, one of the world’s great newspapers. Its strength is in its editorial excellence; it has never been the largest newspaper in terms of circulation. The Times was established in 1851 as a penny paper that would avoid sensationalism and report the news in a restrained and objective fashion. The paper’s imaginative and risky exploitation of all available resources to report every aspect of the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912 greatly enhanced its prestige. In its coverage of two world wars the Times continued to enhance its reputation for excellence in world news. In 1971 the Times became the centre of controversy when it published a series of reports based on the “Pentagon Papers,” a secret government study of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War that had been covertly given to the Times by government officials. The U.S. Supreme Court found that the publication was protected by the freedom-of-the-press clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The publication of the “Pentagon Papers” brought the Times a Pulitzer Prize in 1972.
THE INDEPENDENT The Independent, politically independent daily newspaper founded in 1986 and published in London. The founders of The Independent—Andreas Whittam Smith, Matthew Symonds, and Stephen Glover (all former staff members of The Daily Telegraph)—believed that many of Britain’s educated and affluent citizens desired an objective source of daily news, one without the strong political biases of the country’s established newspapers. The Independent found a large audience immediately, its daily sales nearly matching those of The Guardian and The Times. A Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, was launched in 1990. Renowned for its journalistic integrity, The Independent received critical praise for its innovative use of graphic design, prominent placement of artistic photographs, disclosure of article sources, and faithful crediting of other newspapers and news agencies for borrowed coverage. The paper began publishing in colour in 2008. However, The Independent experienced a steady decline in circulation, and on March 26, 2016, the paper published its last print edition as it moved to a digital-only format.
THE NEW YORKER The New Yorker, American weekly magazine, famous for its varied literary fare and humour. The founder, Harold W. Ross, published the first issue on February 21, 1925, and was the magazine’s editor until his death in December 1951. The New Yorker’s initial focus was on New York City’s amusements and social and cultural life, but the magazine gradually acquired a broader scope that encompassed literature, current affairs, and other topics. The New Yorker became renowned for its short fiction, essays, foreign reportage, and probing biographical studies, as well as its comic drawings and its detailed reviews of cinema, books, theatre, and other arts. The magazine offered a blend of reportage and commentary, short stories and poetry, reviews, and humour to a sophisticated, well-educated, liberal audience.
THE OBSERVER The Observer, Sunday newspaper established in 1791, the first Sunday paper published in Britain. It is one of England’s quality newspapers, long noted for its emphasis on foreign coverage. The paper devotes extensive space to the arts, government, education, and politics, and it has a worldwide reputation for responsible journalism. The Observer is considered by other editors to be among the world’s best papers. For many years it has maintained a substantial staff of foreign correspondents that supplies news and background pieces for the paper’s generally well-educated readers, including a large international audience. The Observer briefly passed out of British ownership in 1976, when it was sold to an American conglomerate, the Atlantic Richfield Company. In 1981 it was returned to British hands when an industrialist, Roland Rowland, bought control. The Observer was purchased in 1993 by the Guardian Media Group, of which The Guardian newspaper is also a part. In the same place on the political spectrum as its sister papers The Guardian and The Guardian Weekly, whose parent company Guardian Media Group Limited acquired it in 1993, it takes a social liberal or social democratic line on most issues.