Can Newsweek’s Redesign Boost Its Prospects?


Magazines love to redesign themselves — seeing the revamp as a way to update the look-and-feel of the outlet as well as its mission.

The latest example is Newsweek, which David Carr at the New York Times calls “Fourth-and-Long Journalism at Newsweek.”

Carr notes that the redesigned Newsweek “will no longer attempt to re-report and annotate the week’s events — an expensive, unsustainable approach to making a weekly news magazine.” Newsweek is going to focus on reporting on inside the Beltway, serving as a non-partisan voice against a cacophony of partisan print and blog voices. Additionally, Newsweek will not cover breaking news — as it used to do — but that it will do so if Newsweek is “truly adding to the conversation,” according to Jon Meacham, Newsweek’s editor.

In an editor’s note about a redesign of the magazine, Meacham wrote, “As the number of news outlets expands, it is said, attention spans shrink; only the fast and the pithy will survive.”

Meacham’s right. The question is will this redesign enable Newsweek to survive.

For PR functions, the evolving role of newsweeklies including Time & US News means that the way we reach out to them, if at all now, has to evolve as well.

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