Monday, April 4, 2011

WHAT'S IN A NAME?


"Newsweek-beast" implies a hungry curious new news critter -- a sharp-eyed animal looking for prey.

I used to read Time, US News & World Report, and Newsweek. And before that, there was Life, Look, The Villager, The Village Voice, The Sunday Times, and The New Yorker. I never got attached to New York Magazine and I had a subscription to MS Magazine, and bought a copies of others -- too many magazines to list here.

My favorite was US News & World Report because ... because ... well, I wasn't sure, but I sensed that what I was reading was NOT politically slanted news. (Alas, it's an on-line magazine nowadays, and it's hard to access.)

The Sunday Times, back then, was already too large and too hard to read. I didn't want to sort through so many-many pages. I particularly, did NOT want to keep up with all the latest, distracting dance and theater news. I just wanted a sense of what was happening in the world.

A friend of mine said just a few weeks ago, "Forget Newsweek, Em, nobody reads it anymore," and quoted numbers that proved how hugely it's readership has dropped. Lo and behold, THAT week, my Newsweek arrived -- a fat issue, full of interesting articles, announcing plans for further expansion, and the new, impressive names on its expanded roster of columnists.

The Daily Beast's "cheat sheets," twice-a-day news scoops arrive on my computer -- summaries about flare-ups, rebellions, politics, scandal, murder, death, disaster. What I'm getting is an event ping-pong that comes at me so fast that I often miss and cannot respond to the balls.

Dammit, I want to be IN THE KNOW! Yes, it's an old-fashioned phrase, but I just want to know the names, places, events, in all the categories of news, even sports. The "cheat sheets" show what's IN -- but the sheet is jam-packed with gossip and rumor. It's stuffing me with snacks -- unsaturated fats, cholesterol, indigestible roughage -- all mushed together.

Okay, hurray -- online the Newsweek-Beast lets me view a full article without clicking around, which one has to do on Time Magazine -- time-consumingly. I like to be able to search and browse through various articles when I'm writing a post, and the online setup of the magazine is
still excellent.


Gee, maybe the name made me nervous. It wasn't summarized cheat sheet garbage and scandal news -- everything I read was chock-full of details and background. Hmm.

Could the new Newsweek-Beast end up being my favorite magazine?

1 comment:

Carola said...

I'm afraid I don't like the new Newsweek. That is a disappointment, because I really liked the transformation Tina Brown accomplished for the New Yorker. I also don't like either The Daily Beast or The Huffington Post because they are too SLOW! Some sites are nice and fast, but not those two.

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