Newsweek is an American weekly newsmagazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence, although both are much larger than the third of America's prominent weeklies, U.S. News & World Report. Newsweek is published in four English language editions and 12 global editions written in the language of the circulation region.
magazine was launched in 1933
but really went into effect in 1935
by a group of U.S. stockholders "which included Ward Cheney, of the Cheney silk family, John Hay Whitney
, and Paul Mellon
, son of Andrew W. Mellon
," according to America's 60 Families
by Ferdinand Lundberg
. The same book also noted in 1946 that "Paul Mellon's ownership in "Newsweek" apparently represented "the first attempt of the Mellon family to function journalistically on a national scale."
To launch Newsweek the group of original owners invested around $2.5 million. Other large Newsweek stockholders prior to 1946 were a public utilities investment banker named Stanley Childs and a Wall Street corporate lawyer and director of various corporations named Wilton Lloyd-Smith.
Originally News-Week, the magazine was founded by Thomas J.C. Martyn on February 17, 1933. That issue featured seven photographs from the week's news on the cover.
In 1937, Newsweek merged with the weekly journal Today, which had been founded in 1932 by former New York Governor and diplomat Averell Harriman, and Vincent Astor of the prominent Astor family. As a result of the 1937 Newsweek-Today merger deal, Harriman and Astor provided Newsweek with $600,000 in additional venture capital funds and Vincent Astor became both Newsweek's chairman of the board and its principal stockholder between 1937 and his death in 1959.
In 1937, Malcolm Muir took over as president and editor-in-chief. Muir changed the name to Newsweek, emphasized more interpretative stories, introduced signed columns, and international editions. Over time it has developed a full spectrum of news-magazine material, from breaking stories and analysis to reviews and commentary.
The magazine was purchased by the Washington Post Company in 1961. Newsweek is generally considered the most liberal of the three major newsweeklies, an assertion supported in a recent UCLA study on media point of view. For example in the past decades the magazine's editorial staff was often critical of the Nixon and Reagan Administrations.
Circulation and branches
As of 2003, worldwide circulation is more than 4 million, including 2.7 million in the U.S. It also publishes editions in Japanese
, Rioplatense Spanish
, as well as an English language
Newsweek International. The Bulletin
(an Australian weekly until 2008) incorporated an international news section from Newsweek.
There is also a radio program, Newsweek on Air, jointly produced by Newsweek and the Jones Radio Network (previously with the Associated Press).
Based in New York City, it has 21 bureaus: 9 in the U.S. in New York City, Los Angeles, the Midwest (Chicago and Detroit), Dallas, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco, as well as overseas in London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Jerusalem, Baghdad, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, South Asia, Cape Town and Mexico City.
Highlights and controversies
Failure to Report on Monica Lewinsky Scandal
Newsweek was widely reported to have had information on the Lewinsky scandal but decided not to print the story, which later led to charges of media bias. The internet news blog Drudge Report became the first organization to break the story.
Guantánamo Bay allegations
In the May 9
issue of Newsweek
, an article by reporter Michael Isikoff
stated that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay
"in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an
down a toilet." Detainees had earlier made similar complaints but this was the first time a government source had appeared to confirm the story. The news was reported to be a cause of widespread rioting and massive anti-American protests throughout some parts of the Islamic
world (causing at least 15 deaths in Afghanistan
), even though both Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard B. Myers
and Afghan President Hamid Karzai
stated they did not think the article was related to the rioting. The magazine later revealed that the anonymous source behind the allegation could not confirm that the book-flushing was actually under investigation, and retracted the story under heavy criticism.
Best High Schools in America
Since 1998, Newsweek
has periodically published a "Best High Schools in America" list, a ranking of public secondary schools
based on the Challenge Index
, which measures the ratio of Advanced Placement
or International Baccalaureate
exams taken by students to the number of graduating students that year, regardless of the scores earned by students or the difficulty in graduating.
Schools with average SAT scores above 1300 or average ACT scores above 27 are excluded from the list; these are categorized instead as "Public Elite" High Schools. In 2008, there were 17 Public Elites.
Regional cover changes
The October 2
edition of Newsweek
in the United States featured a cover story titled "My Life in Pictures" based around photographer Annie Leibovitz
and her new book, with the cover photo featuring her with several children. Foreign editions featured, instead, a cover story called "Losing Afghanistan
" with a picture of an Afghan fighter about the U.S. fight and struggles in Afghanistan. The story was still featured in the American edition and was still mentioned on the cover.
In 2005, Newsweek had featured a picture of an American flag in a trash can on the Japanese edition, absent from all other editions.
Iraq war planning
, a Newsweek
columnist and editor of Newsweek International
, attended a secret meeting on November 29
with a dozen policy makers, Middle East experts and members of influential policy research organizations to produce a report for President George W. Bush
and his cabinet outlining a strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and the Middle East in the aftermath of September 11, 2001
. The meeting was held at the request of Paul D. Wolfowitz
, then the deputy secretary of defense. The unusual presence of journalists, who also included Robert D. Kaplan
of The Atlantic Monthly
, at such a strategy meeting was revealed in Bob Woodward's 2006 book State of Denial
. Woodward reported in his book that, according to Mr. Kaplan, everyone at the meeting signed confidentiality agreements not to discuss what happened. Mr. Zakaria told The New York Times
that he attended the meeting for several hours but did not recall being told that a report for the President would be produced.On October 21
, after verification, the Times
published a correction that stated:
An article in Business Day on Oct. 9 about journalists who attended a secret meeting in November 2001 called by Paul D. Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defense, referred incorrectly to the participation of Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek International and a Newsweek columnist. Mr. Zakaria was not told that the meeting would produce a report for the Bush administration, nor did his name appear on the report.
Contributors and reporters
Notable regular contributors to Newsweek
include Fareed Zakaria
, Jonathan Alter
, film critic David Ansen
, Eleanor Clift
, Howard Fineman
, David Gates
, Steven Levy
, Anna Quindlen
, Robert J. Samuelson
, Evan Thomas
, George Will
, Sharon Begley. Michael Isikoff
is perhaps the magazine's most famous investigative reporter.
Notes and references