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Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City and distributed throughout the United States and internationally. Newsweek is a general interest news magazine, with sections that include American news, international news, politics, health, business, science, education, and entertainment. One of the "big three" American news magazines—the others being Time and U.S. News & World ReportNewsweek has maintained a strong presence in both the American and world markets. From covering breaking stories to reviews and commentary, Newsweek has increased its focus on lifestyle topics. It has become less traditional and serious than its competitors, offering a lighter, more lifestyle- and celebrity-oriented coverage, featuring stories with an emotional component. Not without controversy, Newsweek has distinguished itself nonetheless for its expert opinion and contemporary ideas. Through adopting new technologies including CD-ROM and Internet publishing, ahead of the rest of the field, the magazine has assured its place as a popular source of information and entertainment.


Originally called News-Week, the weekly magazine Newsweek was founded by Thomas J. C. Martyn on February 17, 1933. The first issue featured seven photographs from the week's news on the cover. In 1937, Malcolm Muir took over as president and editor-in-chief. Muir changed the name to Newsweek, and emphasized more interpretative stories, introduced signed columns, and created international editions. Over time, Newsweek has developed a full spectrum of news-magazine material, from breaking stories and analysis, to reviews and commentary. The magazine was bought by the Washington Post Company in 1961.

Since the 1950s, Newsweek has devoted serious attention to racism, offering in-depth coverage of issues related to racial segregation in the South. In the 1960s, editor Osborn Elliott took this a step further, bringing "advocacy journalism" (in which facts are tempered by a subjective view or political stance) to a new level in magazine publications by featuring stories such as the November 1967 issue's civil rights editorial "The Negro in America: What Must Be Done," “which questioned traditional notions of journalistic ‘objectivity.’”[1]

In the mid-1980s, Newsweek underwent a major redesign and launched its first foreign-language edition, in Japanese. The following decade saw expansion into several other languages with overseas bureaus. By the end of the twentieth century, Newsweek published four regional editions (Atlantic, Asia, Latin America, and Australia) in English, as well as weekly local-language editions in seven different languages.

In 1993, Newsweek introduced a CD-ROM version, sold quarterly both by subscription and through retail outlets, the first such electronic publishing venture by a major magazine. In 1994, the magazine went online, and in October 1998 launched its own website,, containing extensive archival material and daily updates.

Newsweek is generally considered the most liberal of the three major news weeklies, (the others being Time and U.S. News & World Report), an assertion supported in a recent University of California–Los Angeles study on media point of view.[2]

Newsweek Today


The main sections of Newsweek are “National and International Affairs,” “Business,” “Science & Technology,” “Medicine,” “Family,” and “Arts & Entertainment.” Regular weekly features include "Periscope," "My Turn," "Conventional Wisdom Watch," "Perspectives," and "Newsmakers." "My Turn" is a column written by readers. Each column is chosen from around 4,000 monthly letters. Newsweek boasts this is the only such regular column.[3]


Newsweek has won more National Magazine awards than any other similar publication. These awards include those for General Excellence (1982, 1993, 2002, 2004), Reporting (1999), Single Topic Issue (1981, 1992, 2004), and Visual Excellence (1974). Prize-winning issues covered Vietnam and the American presidential elections of 1992 and 2004. Other awarded stories included ones on aging and the state of African Americans.[4]

Circulation and branches

Newsweek is the second-largest 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.[5] As of 2003, worldwide circulation was more than four million, including 3.1 million in the U.S. It also publishes editions in Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic, as well as an English-language Newsweek International. 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 had 17 bureaus as of 2005: nine in the U.S. in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Boston, and San Francisco, as well as overseas in Beijing, Cape Town, Jerusalem, London, Mexico City, Moscow, Paris, and Tokyo.

Best High Schools in America

Since 1998, Newsweek has periodically published a national list of high schools under the title "Best High Schools in America".[6] The ranking of public secondary schools is based on the Challenge Index method of ranking, which ranks based on the ratio of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate examinations 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 high average SAT or ACT scores are excluded from the list, categorized as "Public Elite" High Schools. In 2006, there were 21 Public Elites.[7]

There has been controversy over this method of choosing the top schools because it only takes into account standardized exam scores.


Guantánamo Bay allegations

In the May 9, 2005 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 General Richard B. Myers and Afghan President Hamid Karzai stated they did not think the article was related to the rioting.[8] 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. Similar desecration by U.S. personnel was reportedly confirmed by the U.S. a month later.[9]

Regional cover changes

The September 27, 2006 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 Islamic extremist about the U.S. fight and struggles in Afghanistan. This story was featured in the American edition, and only mentioned on the cover.[10]

In 2005, Newsweek featured a picture of an American flag in a trash can on the Japanese edition, absent from all other editions.[11]


  1. Anna Quindlen, Newsweek, Written March 12, 2006, exclusively for Retrieved February 27, 2007.
  2. Tim Groseclose, A Measure of Media Bias, The Quarterly Journal of Economics 120 (November 2005): 1191–1237. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
  3. History of Newsweek. Newsweek. Retrieved February 11, 2007.
  4. Newsweek Media Kit. Newsweek. Retrieved February 11, 2007.
  5. Average Circulation for Top 100 ABC Magazines. Magazine Publishers of America, 2005. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
  6. The Complete List of the 1,200 Top U.S. High Schools. Newsweek, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
  7. List of Public Elites. Newsweek, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
  8. Riots over US Koran 'desecration'. BBC News. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
  9. White House hits out at Newsweek. BBC News. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
  10. Muriel Kane, Newsweek features 'Losing Afghanistan' in international edition, celebrity photographer in U.S. The Raw Story. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
  11. Joseph Farah, Newsweek's flag in the trash WorldNetDaily, May 2005. Retrieved December 15, 2006.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Tebbel, John. 1969. The American Magazine: A Compact History. E. P. Dutton. ISBN 0801502462

External links

All links retrieved November 14, 2022.


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