What would YOU do with Newsweek?

Last week The Washington Post Company put Newsweek up for sale. Much ink – physical and digital – has been spilled about what should be done with the ailing magazine. Neiman Journalism Lab has a round-up in their week-in-review post from last week – I particularly like Derek Powazek’s post.

If your long-lost crazy rich uncle bought Newsweek and called you up and said “I bought you this, I thought you might want it” – what would you do? (Assuming you get the magazine for free but actually have to find some way to sustain it – Uncle Moneybags won’t keep it on life support forever.)

1 Comment

  1. Klint Finley

    May 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    So here’s some of what I’d do:

    -I’d ditch what Jay Rosen calls “the view from nowhere” and change Newsweek into an explicit left/progressive magazine. This would be a sharp leftward turn for the magazine, but, hey, it’d be mine. The basic pitch: a magazine/web site for left leaning news junkies.

    -I’d take Powazek’s advice and make the magazine the “best of the best” of the web site. I’m not sure I’d break from the weekly schedule – The Economist does fine as a weekly.

    -Speaking of the Economist, I’d keep the focus on the United States and not try to compete with them on international news coverage.

    -I’d experiment with the format – I like how The Economist starts with short briefs, then moves on to page long examinations, and then on to indepth, multipage coverage. I like Slate’s various summaries

    -I’d add “portal” pages on a large number of topics and make them a core part of the web site (something similar to the “dossiers” I’ve been doing at Technoccult) and experiment with other means to enhance context – See: http://elisehu.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/contextualizing-context/

    -I’d setup a stable of blogs, taking cues from Science Blogs and Wired’s blogs. The best blog content would also of course go in the magazine.

    -I’d try to attract as many “brand name” left journalists and bloggers as possible – people like Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Jeremy Scahill, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Jeff Sharlet.

    -I’d get into the research services business.

    -I’d hire Powazek to run an online community site.

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